I enthusiastically concur with John Xenakis' recommendations.  I was a vi
user for years until a colleague I respected said to me one day, "you *have*
to learn emacs".  Once I started there was no going back.  Emacs Lisp takes
a bit of getting used to but it is worth the effort.  I have carried my
.emacs file around for over 20 years now, adding to it as I go.  Nowadays
emacs is my main work environment and when I share a screen and give a
presentation my coworkers are amazed.

On Wed, Mar 25, 2020 at 8:50 AM John J. Xenakis <hew...@jxenakis.com> wrote:

> Dear David,
>
> >   Unfortunately, I had already looked into Emacs extensions to
> >   provide project maintenance, and what I found would have taken me
> >   more time to modify than if I started from scratch and wrote my
> >   own emacslisp. And I could not find any indexed outline (as in
> >   NoteTab) extensions (perhaps I didn't know the right place to
> >   look).
>
> >   Also, unfortunately, there doesn't seem to be a forum oriented
> >   toward people doing substantial customization work on Windows
> >   Emacs.
>
> >   I really need a better editor, but without support it seems a
> >   risky project.
>
> >   I thank you for pointing out that stripping down Emacs probably
> >   would not be of much help.
>
> >   I'll take another look at customizing Emacs when I have time away
> >   from my current rather intensive project (creating a website
> >   framework).
>
> >   Finding or creating an editor that supports the way I like to work
> >   seems to be rather difficult.
>
> Well, let's look at it this way.
>
> I use Emacs for all sorts of things -- text files, html files, Java
> files, C++ files, templates, XML files, batch files, etc.  This means
> that no matter what I'm doing, I can use the same editor commands and
> the same hotkeys.  Emacs macros do all my file and directory
> management, so all my files and directories are managed the same way,
> no matter what I'm doing.
>
> Whenever I find myself doing the same thing over and over, then I write
> an Emacs macro.  Yes, that takes time, but it means that I save enormous
> amounts of time in the future.
>
> I'll go even farther than that.  In the rare situation that Emacs
> can't do something, then I have the macro call a Perl program to do
> whatever is necessary.
>
> And even farther: I've worked on Windows and on several flavors of
> Unix, including Red Hat Linux and Macintosh Linux, and I use EXACTLY
> the same macros and hotkeys to do editing and file management.  And of
> course Perl is available on all those systems.  So no matter what I'm
> working on, no matter what computer I'm on, I have a familiar user
> interface that works exactly the way I want to.
>
> Yes, it takes time to get it set up, but the rewards are enormous.
> In fact, I save huge amounts of time every day, since Emacs does all
> sorts of things for me that would normally take time.
>
> >   Also, unfortunately, there doesn't seem to be a forum oriented
> >   toward people doing substantial customization work on Windows
> >   Emacs.
>
> The problem is that your desires for a user interface are probably
> extremely personal.  I use all the macros and templates that come with
> Emacs, but I still have all sorts of things that I want to do --
> manipulating files, managing files, converting files, etc. -- that are
> what I want and probably no one else in the world wants.
>
> For example, I've written macros that provide a searchable indexed
> outline, and I absolutely love that functionality and use it a
> thousand times a day, and it works the same on all files, operating
> systems and platforms, but it probably still isn't exactly the way
> you'd like it.  Your tastes are as personal as mine.
>
> So you might find a forum that provides generic Emacs solutions,
> but most likely you or a consultant would have to customize the
> macros specifically to the way you want to work.
>
> You also mentioned support.  I've used editors like Brief and Codewrite
> in the past that are no longer supported and don't even run on the
> latest versions of Windows.   That REALLY sucks.
>
> So another reason that I like Emacs is that it's almost certain to be
> supported forever.  It's been around since the 1970s, and has been
> implemented on just about every platform.  Same with Perl.  So I'm
> pretty certain that it will be around longer than I will, which is
> good enough for me.
>
> >   Finding or creating an editor that supports the way I like to work
> >   seems to be rather difficult.
>
> My suggestion is that you bite the bullet and get some minimal
> functionality working the way you want it, and then add to it over
> time.  Once you write some basic macros to do project management, then
> you're all set forever, and you can add to functionality as you wish.
>
> Sincerely,
>
> John
>
> John J. Xenakis
> 100 Memorial Drive Apt 8-13A
> Cambridge, MA 02142
> Phone: 617-864-0010
> E-mail: j...@jxenakis.com
> Resume: http://www.jxenakis.com/resume
> http://www.jxenakis.com
>
>
>
>
>

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