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 > > > > >