I used Emacs for several years until 1995 when I started developing Windows software. I tried picking Emacs back up a few times since then, but each time I got frustrated and decided it wasn’t worthwhile. But things change and now I’m willing to give it another try. I’m well aware of the difficulties, but I think it may be worth the investment.
I’ve evaluated several editors on Windows, and I haven’t found anything as powerful or as configurable as Emacs. But the main reason I’m willing to try Emacs again is that I’m tired of using a different program for every kind of file I edit. I use a dozen programs, none of which I know very well. I want to learn one tool well and use it for many different tasks. As the Emacs guided tour says:
All of the basic editing commands (and there are lots of them) are available no matter what you’re trying to do: write code, read a manual, use a shell, or compose an email.
All the tools Emacs provides for opening, saving, searching, and processing text (and more) are available to you no matter what you’re doing.
Using Emacs is painful at this point, like the first day getting back to an exercise routine. But some old habits are starting to coming back, and I’ve discovered a few customizations that make Emacs more convenient.
I’m doing an experiment. I’ve committed to using Emacs through the end of April. After that I may decide that the quirks of Emacs are either too much to get used to or will take too much effort customize around. Or I may decide I want to keep using it and dive deeper.