Though it's cliché and often listed as a negative, emacs really gives the user more than just a program to edit text.
I would not recommend emacs as an editor these days to most developers, but it absolutely still remains one of the most visionary and well thought out pieces of software ever written. It is both hilarious and depressing how emacs has been literally decades in the future over all of its 45 years of existence, without even the most obvious clearly superior aspects diffusing into the sea of idiocy surrounding it at a rate faster than one or two decades per feature.
Not everything about emacs is great, or even were great, without downside (for example the extreme malleability and customizable bring a raft of problems as well). But a couple of things really were and in some cases still are just obviously, massively, better without the rest of the world being in any seeming hurry to adopt them.
Incremental search is the prime example. It has finally become ubiquitous, and yet Emacs was basically the only thing that had it for well over a quarter century. As Raskin quipped in The Humane Interface (2000), search is either incremental or excremental (unfortunately he seemingly also tried to steal the credit -- he had an interesting mode-less variant of incremental search in Copy Cat which deserves notice, but it still postdated emacs by quite a few years, and I've never seen him acknowledging emacs as prior art). So I would really love to understand why neither netscape or basically anything else in the 90ies had incremental search, despite often being written in large parts in emacs by people living and breathing emacs such as JWZ.
And to this day emacs remains one of very few programs with a proper (i.e. non-linear) undo system or a clipboard not suffering from severe dementia, or the ability to actually ask "what happens when I click here?".
Why not? The whole rest of your comment is nothing but a list of (very good IMHO) reasons to use emacs.
Language servers has made most of the heavy features in dedicated major modes in Emacs sort of redundant; servers provide error checking, warnings, refactoring and so on. The gritty bits are in the server, leaving editors to do the syntax highlighting and project management.
This sounds great, but Emacs doesn't ship with support for them, and Emacs' built-in package management is kinda unfinished.
To get good C support, for instance, I would;
1. Install straght.el for its use-package implementation
2. Pull in the lsp-mode package (or eglot, I suppose)
3. Install ccls somehow, because Emacs won't
4. Pull in the projectile package, because the built in ede is kinda cumbersome
5. Pull in magit, because the built in vc mode is nowhere near as good
6. Configure lsp-mode to grok ccls
7. Pull in emacs-gdb, because the built in gdb-mi is cumbersome
8. Finally get to work
With, for instance, vscode I would:
1. Open a C file
2. Install the recommended extension
3. Get to work
And then C works well, the debugging is ok, and so on.
At the end of all the steps I find Emacs superior to use, but most folks will have higher productivity with vscode.
0. Know i will be working with C, expect that a C layer should exist
1. Open the docs for the C layer with SPC h l <search for C>,
2. In there, search how to set it up to use a lsp backend
3. add (c-c++ :variables c-c++-backend 'lsp-ccls) and lsp to the list of layers
4. install ccls with my distros package manager
5. restart emacs and get to work
Sure, there are some more steps, but i don't really see it as a burden. And oftentimes it's even easier than that - open a file, get prompted to automatically install the appropriate layer, wait a bit while it does it's thing and you're ready to go. Ok, you should also uncomment the git layer in the configuration but it's already there.
So yeah, i do recommend Spacemacs to the developers i know if they think they might be into a keyboard-centric experience to using the editor and other benefits that Emacs brings (buffer management is a big one for me). It was easy enough for me to jump on using it, without being familiar with Emacs beforehand and without knowing elisp. You do have to know basic vim, though.
 https://github.com/emacs-ng/emacs-ng Disclosure I've posted about this on HN in the past, but I felt it was very relevant to the parent comment.
EDIT: I've finally figured out how to insert an asterisk around a word on HN without needing spaces. Is this documented anywhere? Just use double asterisks on either end like
Turns out this is in the FAQ, it's been a while since I looked at the formatting part of that so I guess it changed since 10 years or so ago or I'd forgotten.
Don't get me wrong - it would be a security nightmare, but there's a cost to trying to guarantee security through mechanism rather than trust.
You should do a line count; GNU Emacs has more than 250,000 lines of C.
1. Handling system calls for IO, networking, display
2. Implementing the elisp language itself
3. Implementing some things so they're faster than raw elisp
And the preference seems to be to expose, to the greatest extent possible, functionality to the elisp users, even if it's actually implemented in C. This is in contrast to the popular JS-based editors which seem to be more interested in a more controlled/limited exposure of functionality to users.
A lot of the pain regarding JS build-systems could be avoided with macros (and reader macros/a customizable reader). Babel is literally macros + a reader.
You are mentioned in the essay that contains the article in this HN post btw :)
Check out the Neovim section in https://www.murilopereira.com/how-to-open-a-file-in-emacs/#t...
With js you could create a very simplified version, if you remove 95% of the emacs codebase.
Most people just use 1-2% of emacs anyway, and there are editors that just do that, control a simple text editor with js.
(((a rabbit hole of lisp)))
(of lisp (hole rabbit))
edit: Why TF was this flagged???
Just a wild guess.
Better luck next time.
"Rabbit holes" suggest a circuitous journey towards a deceptively simple goal fraught with red herrings and wrong turns. Author appears to be under illusion that reading a play-by-play of that laborious process is somehow entertaining or rewarding.
As I write this I attempt to reproduce the issue by re-adding ‘ffap-guess-file-name-at-point’ to ‘file-name-at-point-functions’. I can't reproduce it anymore.
(Which of course is not to say that the article isn’t an interesting dive into Emacs and elisp.)