I have to admit that I had never used emacs — never even installed it really — until yesterday, hoping that the longlines mode would serve as a plausible replacement for nano’s complete and utter refusal to wrap text on the screen without inserting hard line breaks.
That was in turn making me hesitant to use Charm, since the posts I was submitting to this humble site were (as we used to say in the newspaper industry) appearing in ragged right. And links were skewed and twisted around. And paragraph breaks were occassionally in the wrong place.
And that’s just no good. Appearance is important, as much as I hate to admit it, personally. In the end it was taking me as much time to fix things as it was to type and set them up. Two steps forward, one step back.
Anyway, I tried emacs because I am afraid I still suffer post traumatic stress disorder from an early encounter with vi, and found it quite useful. It wasn’t the first thing I tried, but so far it seems to be the winner.
It’s a little bit heavy for 100Mhz — it takes five or six seconds to start up and the memory profile jumps to (gasp!) 7Mb of 12Mb used, but otherwise the results are decent. And that’s the most important thing right now.
I also am interested to see if it can take up some of the slack created that would be created if I move away from Zim. Most of my notes and memoirs are stuffed into a rather large desktop wiki in Zim, and I need those available when I reinstall a system, or troubleshoot something I am redoing from months earlier. Ideally, something with a nested document structure would be best, but life is all about learning new things, and so long as the job gets done, I can’t complain about small points of arrangement.
And learning new things is what will have to happen if I intend to keep emacs. I already have the manual bookmarked in elinks, and I managed to get longlines mode working without too much stress, but the general arrangement is a bit alien, and I still have a few minor points that I need to solve before it will feel comfortable.
But otherwise it seems to be fulfilling the main role I needed, which was to allow me to type, but not mangle the results so badly that it created more work in the end. Work smart, not hard.