| Yak shaving alert || Jun 1, 2020 |
Josh Wells wrote:
Does anyone else out there use this text editor, and if so, have you found anything that has improved your craft?
I used Emacs for many years as a one-stop shop for writing and coding. It's an awesome operating system, and not a bad editor either. I loved its extensibility, and the sheer number of packages and extensions. avy was brilliant for navigating around the screen, for example, and things like yasnippet were so useful.
I played with org-mode, and liked it, but it doesn't really work as an organiser if you are away from your desk a lot, in my experience. Also, if you work with corporate clients, their ecosystem is usually dominated by Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint, and using other software and particularly other file formats can complicate life considerably.
On the negative side, I felt very much a second-class citizen using it on Windows rather than Linux, and I could never get the server/client thing to work, so I couldn't get the "instant startup" that people raved about. That meant I had to keep it running all the time because it took too long to start. And you have to keep on top of your installation, particularly your .emacs file, because it's so potentially complex.
I stopped using Emacs because my hand and arm issues (RSI / carpal tunnel sydrome) forced me to move to voice recognition for work, and at the time Emacs didn't work at all well with Dragon Naturally Speaking, and probably still doesn't. Now when I do code, I use language-specific editors like R Studio and PyCharm.
Despite its many strengths, I don't think Emacs comes close to the utility of something like SDL Studio for translation purposes. The danger is that you will be lured into spending weeks trying to cobble together a half-baked, CAT tool-like mode, or bits of code in Emacs Lisp, and end up with something that works nothing like as well as a commercial CAT tool.
If you don't have much work on and you have few other demands on your time then it might be fun to try, and delving into the bowels of Emacs would probably be educational. As a student, I might well have given it a go. Now, as a busy professional, I'd just bite the bullet and buy Studio 2019 or the latest version of MemoQ.
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