I have been planning to do a blog post series about Emacs for a while
now. This is not about using emacs however. It is about the
configuration of Emacs.
There are two editors that programmers and power users have relied on
for a really long time, both of them started in the second half of the
70s. VI and Emacs. Both are still alive today, not in the exact same
form they started out in, but the same prinicipal form. VI lives today
as VIM and NeoVIM. And Emacs lives today as GNU Emacs.
Emacs is a very powerful editor, that can be configured to do more or
less anything. Emacs can be extended and customized through Emacs LISP.
This could simple, like changing a font or more complex like writing an
entire email client.
When you start using software that started before most of the
conventions for naming and keyboard shortscuts was coined, you should
expect them to be a little bit different. And there is no expection for
Emacs. The two things that are the most different are the Emacs Keyboard
Shortcuts and the naming conventions for some stuff.
In Emacs the Frame is what most computer users calls a Window, and a
window can be divided into multiple windows. You can split a window
horizontally or vertically. Then you have the buffers. A buffer is some
kind of content, it can be a file, a unsaved file or something more like
an app. All of these can be visible in none, one or multiple windows.
This is a very powerful concept, because you can have lets say 100
buffers open, and at any time re-configure what is shown without closing
them. Or if you work on a large file have two of that buffer open at
Emacs keyboard shortcuts are kind of weird, and they don’t follow normal
conventions like Control / Command S etc. They are weird, and you can
customize it how you like. But they are very powerful. And how you use
them are up to you.
There are however two things you should learn imediatly, C- means
Control + something and M- means Alt + something on most systems.