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Re: Emacs without knowing any Lisp (was: text editors)




On Fri, 2019-03-29 at 12:48 +1100, Ben Finney wrote:
> deloptes <deloptes@xxxxxxxxx> writes:
> 
> > I've been there exactly 17y ago. I still have no idea where lisp is used
> > except in Emacs and some exotic projects, so being pragmatic ... good for
> > you who know emacs - for the rest good that you do not know emacs.
> 
> I've been a happy and productive Emacs user for more than 17 years and
> still don't edit any Lisp. It just isn't necessary to get things done.
> 
> (I hear the Atom text editor is implemented in JavaScript; that doesn't
> imply JavaScript knowledge is needed to use Atom.)
> 
> With that knowledge, hopefully more people can explore using Emacs
> <URL:https://tuhdo.github.io/emacs-tutor.html>.
> 
FWIW I've been using emacs on mainframes, workstations, and PCs since
about 1984.  I've found the elisp programmatic interface useful since I
first cobbled together a set of rectangle-oriented tools (since replaced
by the rectangle commands provided by more recent versions of emacs; see
section 9.5 of the emacs manual for emacs 24).  I also use Common Lisp
for most of my application programming, which involves either
mathematical programming (bignums and big rationals are wonderful for
some number theoretic computations) or interesting computational
problems (suffix trees for classical cryptanalysis, exploring patterns
in calendars, whatever catches my eye).  I've recently been developing
tools to assist extracting text from web sites and reformatting as
page-oriented documents rather than unpaged HTML (personal preference;
I'm an old fart who likes documents with real pages, footnotes, headers
and footers, etc.)  The elisp tools help me transform scraped text into
LaTeX source files.  I also put together some Python scripts for setting
up and managing the directory structure for extracted texts.  My first
point is, having access to a full-blown programming language for doing
task-specific work within an editor is *wonderful*; my second point is,
the lisp family of languages are very useful and flexible tools for,
among other things, exploratory programming.

 --
Bill Wood