Philip Newton (pne) wrote,
Philip Newton
pne

We use vi, son; they use emacs

(The title of this entry is from an old cartoon that appears here, among other places -- does anyone know the original source?)

The group here has settled on using emacs as their preferred editor and developers have customised it, as the saying goes, to within an inch of their lives.

While there is, apparently, a good deal of rivalry between vi users and emacs users, I use vim mostly because they taught me vi when I learned Unix, so it's what I know. I have no enmity against emacs, but I just never learned it so far and saw little need to.

However, I've decided to give emacs a go, mostly because of said customisation. That way, if someone says that something is done by pressing F4, I can duplicate that without having to figure out what I'd have to do by hand.

Fortunately, the arrow keys and PgUp/PgDown work; I think I'd go bananas if I had to use Ctrl+P etc. to move around.

I have a feeling I'll only scratch the surface, partly because there are so many features that reading the docs looking for interesting or immediately useful ones is probably not easily possible.

However, if any of you are emacs users, are there commands or options or something you'd like to recommend I consider learning? As in, if I only memorise twenty (or other small-ish number) commands, which ones would be the most useful, in your opinions? For the purposes of this exercise, imagine I know basically nothing.

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