So far my favourite thing about emacs is that the “GNU and Freedom” help entry is followed immediately by the all caps notice disclaiming any warranty or responsibility for the software at all.

The “GNU and freedom” link doesn’t work. The disclaimer link sure does though.

I am presently not understanding the commitment to the idea that a ‘meta’ key is something that has existed in the wild since 1980.

…. Ah, there it is. The documentation says, right at the top, that pressing ‘h’ will give you a primer for first timers, and what it actually gives you is an error message saying “info file info does not exist”. Now I remember why I started using Vim.

I’m going to push through this but my early impressions are that emacs definitely does not want new users.



Emacs is *incredibly* user-friendly by late-80's standards.

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@suetanvil @mhoye also solely responsible for crippled hands around the world! (Including mine and GNU emacs' own author.)

I'm not sure what "user friendly in the late 80s" even means exactly. Although for sure Macwrite was much more approachable than emacs. FWIW the built-in help in emacs was pretty great for its time.

@nelson @mhoye

I found it easier to use than vi on the Unix systems at school.

This was after four months of using vi and getting somewhat proficient at it. I can do the mode switching but it's always imposed mental friction.

But emacs worked like the PC editors I was used to in that pressing a key got you the character, so that's what I went with.

(It turns out vi is way better on a mobile keyboard though, fwiw.)

@scruss @mhoye

I've never used VMS. I'm not sure whether this is a good thing or a bad thing.

@suetanvil It's basically Windows' CMD, but with file versioning and written in the 1980s. It's rather lovely


Hmmm. Someone should fork ReactOS, strip out the GUI stuff and turn it back into a VMS-alike.

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