I have a hard time agreeing with this statement, especially since I experienced just that. The only thing I learned was that the documentation for the process was awful.
Furthermore, the statement is some curious attempt at irony that undermines his argument. I don't want to spend 10 years setting up a development environment, I want to spend 10 years learning a development environment. Such a line can be very fine, indeed.
(This being said as a regular Emacs user.)
Building a mail system into a single-threaded text editor seems a bit silly to me...
Why's that? The (not gnus) mail system I use on Emacs will hang the Emacs process for a few seconds sometimes when I hit send while the Emacs process talks to my ISP's mail server, but that is the only way the mail system's single-threadedness ever really bites.
When I check for new mail on my ancient Pentium III system, the Emacs process hangs for less than a second or 2 usually.
Those delays are nothing compared to the time I waste waiting for Firefox to do something.
Plan9's ACME preserves most of what I like about Emacs, but it's mouse-chord-based UI is a dealbreaker for me.
I have never encountered a system that could replace Gnus, though.
What do you use to read nntp, email and rss in a coherent interface?
I've never found an RSS reader I've been satisfied with, though. I was working on one at one point that had an interface like mh, but I haven't gotten back to it in a while.