Anyone who knows me, knows my penchant for pico. I mean, I know that it is generally shunned by the computing community, but I have always thought that it served my casual text editing needs quite well. I know how to move the cursur around efficiently, and I can “cut and paste” with it. However, as you may have guessed, this isn’t about pico, it is about emacs. The other editor. I’m not going to even talk about vi, because well… why?

I was recently instructed to learn emacs or vi for the purposes of programming competition training. That was all well and good, but I was stuck in my emacs is crazy mindframe. But I’ll tell you, once I got into the crazy world of emacs, I was hooked. (Which wasn’t meant as a joke or pun and although maybe only like one other person might get it - I’m going to let it stand) The only beef that I have is my lack (apparently) of a Meta key on my laptop. I do have an Alt key, which is apparently equivalent, but not on my Powerbook. I might take a look online to see what I can discover about this. Luckily there is an equivalent (albiet less convenient) way to handle this meta problem for us handicapped emacs users. I used emacs to do a recent assignment and although I haven’t figured out the details of some of emacs vast programming prowess, I can manage mulitple buffers with ease now. I even took notes in the aforementioned sex class with emacs. Classy.

This is just me ranting to say that we should all have an open mind towards text editors. They haven’t ever really done anything to hurt us. Except vi, which is plotting to kill your family.

[Note: Thanks to James for informing me that using the Alt key for Meta is an option for Terminal - one which I wasn’t using.]

Written by Colin Bate