Emacs, the Journey to an Operating System

The Age without Emacs

It's the 12th of February, I'm playing Factorio on my laptop, when the bell rings and not long after my Biology teacher enters the classroom, I quickly save and exit out of Factorio. After the usual formalities I sit down and open my editor, so that I can take notes during the lesson. As you might have guessed, I didn't open Emacs, instead I opened VSCode, yes I know, not even VSCodium, but the prorietary spyware-filled version. I then open a new Markdown file and started typing away. This procedure repeated multiple times during the day, until school ended and I got home, I sat down in front of my desktop and opened CLion, because I wanted to do some coding in Rust. I had VSCode opened on my desktop too, as I needed access to my notes, when one of my classmates wanted them. I had two completely different editors opened almost all the time and even vim, when I logged into remote servers and got to editing some Dockerfile.

That is roughly how my day went, before I switched full time to Emacs and learned of all the features the Emacs operating system has. I didn't even realize, how much I was missing out on and how painful my existence was. Let's go over the different pain points I now, in retrospect, realize existed.

The Pain

If you're an Emacs veteran, you surely have already noticed everything I'll point out in the next few paragraphs, but please do read on as I present my unique view on the issues.

Multiple Editors

Let's start with the most obvious one, during "A day in the Life of Me", I would switch between 3 different editors, being, in increasing order of time spent in each, VSCode, CLion and Vim. This brings with it many issues, including but not limited to: keybindings, plugins/addons, look&feel, features and even supported files/projects. The editors could be split into two categories, classic: "CLion, VSCode" and "Vim". If you've spend even a minute on a *nix system, you must know what Vim is and that, let's be honest, it has a weird, alien control scheme. This "Weirdness" is even supported by a multitude of memes, such as: