Like almost all newbies, I started out with pico, the editor that
comes with pine. pico was friendly. pico was easy to use. pico also
kept wrapping my lines, which is a Very Bad Idea when you’re
programming. I discovered that
pico -w would turn such
undesirable behavior off, and
alias pico="pico -w "
became part of my .bashrc everywhere.
However, I felt mildly ashamed of pico. All the Unix books said I
should learn how to use vi, so I did. vi was fun, too – vim,
especially. I had my funky one-line ex commands, like :s%/foo/bar/g. I
could go to any line with :linenumber. I regularly used :! to invoke
shell commands. I liked the way it syntax-colored practically all the
files I edited – even the more obscure ones – and I was even thinking
of writing my own syntax files for the things it didn’t handle yet.
I suppose it was sheer curiosity that made me try out Emacs. Emacs was
an intellectual challenge. I found myself attracted to its
intimidating complexity. I wanted to see if I could get the hang of it.
Emacs was surprisingly easy to use. I read through the tutorial. I
even browsed through the info node in my spare time. I used the menu
bar and the tool bar until I learned the different shortcuts and
extended commands. It was pretty cool.
Then one summer, I opened the Emacs LISP intro manual. I got hooked.
I started reading Emacs source code. I traced through functions. I
wrote my own. I did more and more stuff in Emacs and I realized how
much I had missed by using other editors.
Emacs is cool. =)