Closet Coder

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Pairing Post Mortem - @piisalie - Emacs and

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The other night, I got to pair with @piisalie to learn some Emacs and work through a little

Paul is a relatively new developer, but he’s been studying under the tutelage of @jeg2 and getting ramped up very quickly as a result. It’s neat to see people who are able to absorb so much so quickly.


  • Google+ Hangouts
  • TMUX + Emacs (Ahhhhhhhhhhh!!)

Paul was pretty familiar with Emacs and did a good job showing me around. We worked on a small exercise and I tried to do as much of the editing as possible as he guided me when I said “how do I move up and down again?”


  • Exercism is a great way to think through a bunch of ways to solve a small problem
  • Emacs is neat in that…
    • it can actually contain a shell within a buffer and that shell is editable.
    • the mnemonics are easier to remember
    • it’s easy to test out config changes in the scratch buffer
    • fuzzy searching is built in
  • Emacs is crazy (mostly in comparison to VIM) in that…
    • nearly every command has a prefix (C-x, C-c), which seems like insanity when you compare moving around/highlighting in VIM with hjkl. It reminds me of TMUX, which is much more tolerable because you’re not switching panes multiple times per second
    • it seems much larger than VIM is
    • The default Emacs on my Mac is version 22, Paul had version 24. VIM is at 7.3 on nearly every system I’m using.
    • it is not VIM and my brain explodes.

All in all, a good session. I’m glad I have a better understanding of Emacs and that I understand some things that I specifically like about VIM and a couple of things that I like about Emacs. Looking forward to pairing with Paul again where we can actually work on something real.

On to the next pairing session…