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Xah's Emacs Lisp Tutorial (ergoemacs.org)
70 points by jackhammer2022 on July 29, 2012 | hide | past | favorite | 14 comments

If you write Lisp like Xah suggests, people will laugh at you. Just read the Emacs Lisp Introduction that ships with Emacs, that actually teaches idiomatic Emacs Lisp.

I've been a fairly recent Emacs user, a year and half I suppose. I've found Xah really helpful in some cases when I was starting with Emacs. He tries to start online discussions, writes some tutorials in his blog, even starts G+ hangouts where he helps random people, and all this voluntarily.

I have no idea what discussions he has trolled or what controversies he was involved in. But there is a humble volunteer part of him I appreciate (like this HN item), and I believe in this way he adds some real value to the community.

Xah Lee's ErgoEmacs fork of GNU Emacs is a memory hog. On my machine, the EmacsW32 program uses 23,032 K of working set with three text buffers open. With the same buffers open, ErgoEmacs uses more than 103,000 K. The most significant differences between ErgoEmacs and other Emacsen (actually, the whole point to ErgoEmacs) are user-interface issues. ErgoEmacs uses keybindings that match Windows conventions. I wish that I were as prolific as him, but he should include some tips on memory usage in his tutorials.

Is it a fork ? I thought it was a distribution. I never read that they changed emacs core, so I thought it was just a vanilla build with prepackaged/preconfigured bits to reflect their principles.

Also, Ergoemacs is definitely not a necessary program. I use emacs with (cua-mode 1) and other shortcuts with the which I'm more comfortable.

Honestly, who cares? Loading time of ergoemacs is a bit lot. But Emacs stays reponsive. I think Emacs performance is not an issue in 2012.

Alex wrote this[1] on emacswiki page, and I totally agree with him.

      Xah has also been a well known troll on various comp.lang.* newsgroups and played in the same league as ErikNaggum. Just browse some older stuff in the Usenet archives. – AlexSchroeder
[1] http://www.emacswiki.org/emacs/Xah_Lee

I kind of doubt Xah is actually trolling; he's just a strange person with strange ideas. How many people blog about their first experience with a prostitute under their real name?

Xah is one of my best friends, he's a nice guy :)

He's been a controversial figure in many forums but his emacs lisp tutorial is the best out there. I gave him a donation through Paypal (for approximately the price of an O'Reilly book) and he personally sent me an email thanking me.

unfortunately his knowledge of basic Lisp is relatively small and his Lisp style is also quite bad.

He does imperative programming in Lisp:

   (let (a b result)
     (setq a 1)
     (setq b 2)
     (setq result (+ a b))
code which is more than four lines is often from different sources.

Well, looks like he's got ads on his site now which I suppose takes place of the donation button.

Not sure but I think it's an emergency measure to sustain income.

I'm reading your tutorial. very helpful and informative!

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