[plt-scheme] Please share your comments on the pros and cons of mzscheme + EMACS

From: Shriram Krishnamurthi (sk at cs.brown.edu)
Date: Thu Jun 7 09:22:49 EDT 2007

On Windows I use only DrScheme.

On Unix I sometimes use DrScheme and sometimes Emacs + MzScheme.

Emacs is a profoundly great, paradigm-changing editor.  But it isn't
for everyone.  It takes a while to learn and use well, and then even
longer to use really, really well.  It does have a ton of packages
that do useful things.  I cannot imagine writing a technical paper in
anything other than Emacs.

But for the Scheme aspects of editing Scheme, DrScheme is much, much
better.  For instance, it gets syntax coloring *right*, as opposed to
guessing at things using regular expressions.  It has all sorts of
built-in tools, like the debugger and stepper, that simply don't exist
in Emacs.

Sometimes even within the same project I will switch between the two:
for instance, if I'm writing a paper and I want to prototype something
in Scheme, since I'm already in Emacs I will switch to another buffer,
write Scheme and run it, then switch back to writing prose.  But if
the program starts to get ugly in any way, I will fire up DrScheme and
from then on run the Scheme code in DrScheme only.

So, a straight-up comparison is unfair.  Emacs is a fantastic
general-purpose editor with moderate Scheme support.  DrScheme is a
decent editor with fantastic Scheme support.


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