Mastering Emacs, Mickey Petersen

GoodReads summary: Learn Emacs from the ground up. In the Mastering Emacs ebook you will learn the answers to all the concepts that take weeks, months or even years to truly learn, all in one place.


Why is an avid VIM user -- to the point that I usually do some gatekeeping in which is the true editor for real programmers 1 -- reading a book about Emacs?

Well, for one, I wanted to learn how to use Org-Mode better, but with my usual EVIL bindings, its keybinds feel alien and did not make a lot of sense.

And, thus, I decided to read a book about Emacs, to gear me up for using Emacs without EVIL and make a more smooth passage to Org-Mode.

In that, I guess I can say that the book helped me, although I'm pretty confident that I'm going to use VIM/EVIL bindings from time to time -- muscle memory is not that easy to change.

One thing that stuck with me after reading the book is the concept of "flow", in which you start a sequence of commands all with the same modifiers (or, at least, with a bigger set and then with a reduced set). For example, how you can keep Ctrl+Alt pressed and execute a bunch of changes without ever removing your hand from Ctrl+Alt, or maybe just dropping one of those two keys, but you keep the modifiers up all the time through the transformation. And while this sounds awesome, it also shows that some Emacs commands do not follow the flow and make a big mess of "Ctrl+Alt+key, key, Alt+key" in sequence -- thus, removing you from the "flow".

Even with that, I feel not everything was perfect:

I could point that I'd like to have an EVIL topic, but the book starts saying that it wouldn't touch that, so far point -- although I'd still prefer to have some chapter about EVIL.

Also, I'd like to have a chapter about Org-Mode, but we can argue if that makes sense to put along a "Mastering Emacs" topic or it should belong to some other "Advanced" Emacs concepts.

In general, it's a good book about Emacs, specially pushing the concept of the flow.


Again, this is me playing with gatekeeping, a real programmer uses whatever editor fits their workflow better -- and that includes editors which do not fit my workflow.