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

From: Bill Wood (william.wood3 at comcast.net)
Date: Thu Jun 7 11:21:25 EDT 2007

On Thu, 2007-06-07 at 07:53 -0500, Grant Rettke wrote:
> Hi folks,
> I grew up using either vi or notepad, yes I lived a sheltered life.
> That said, I am pretty happy with DrScheme. I haven't even learned any
> advanced key commands to select s-expressions, it is on my list,
> though.
> It "sounds" like everyone uses EMACS. "They" keep talking about how
> great it is for LISP, and how much they love it.
> EMACS looks like it has a bit of a learning curve? Is that true? Do you use it?
> What are the pros and cons in your mind of using EMACS with mzscheme.
> Do you use it on Windows?

I've been using emacs since around '81, when it became available as an
alternative to the ed/ted context editors that were the default on
Honeywell Multics.  Contrary to what some have said, I didn't find the
learning curve too bad, but then I only tried to learn what I needed to
do my job.

Currently I use "emacs + <insert language here>" *exclusively*, mostly
because if I find a language implementation that forces an IDE I abandon
it then and there.  My experiences have been with Multics and then
various unices.  In those environments I developed a view of "sitting
above" all my tool sets, mixing and matching as the task at hand plus my
imagination directed.  IDEs always make me feel confined, "inside" the
tool, and that feeling is way too close to the way I feel whenever I
touch Windows.

Right now I have an emacs open with one window containing a mzscheme
file I'm adding some functions to, and a window containing the Python
version of a variation on the Sieve of Eratosthenes I'm interested in.
Later today I will be in emacs updating a little s-expression database
of student scores preparatory to running my Common Lisp progress report
application.  Later this weekend I expect to be working on some
compare-and-contrast timing studies of some simple number-theory
programs in mzscheme, cmucl and just maybe ocaml and smlnj, all from
within emacs.  Those are my pros and cons (given the lack of cons you
might think I was biased :-).

So you know where I'm coming from :-).  That said, I'm convinced that
the experience -- ease-of-use, learning curve, degree of preference,
etc., is much more closely tied to individual psychology than the
flame-fanners are willing to admit.

Do I use it on Windows?  I have done (emacs-nt), but then as a rule I
don't *do* Windows.

 -- Bill Wood

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