Sharing Emacs is Caring Emacs: Emacs education and why I embraced video

Jacob Boxerman (he/him) - - -

I am looking for a summer internship for Summer 2024, please feel free to reach out, I am looking to network :)

Format: 17-min talk; Q&A: BigBlueButton conference room
Status: Q&A to be extracted from the room recordings


00:00.000 Introduction 00:49.000 My journey of learning 04:03.400 Straightforward Emacs 05:32.120 Videos 07:16.400 Clarity 08:10.360 High-quality and accessible content 09:15.920 The personal aspect 11:48.120 Unity

Duration: 16:34 minutes


Listen to just the audio:
Duration: 25:19 minutes


My YouTube Emacs series, "Straightforward Emacs," started as a quick video to share with one person. That video now has over 50 thousand views, and inspired me to do my part and give back to the Emacs community, creating what I wish I had when I started my journey.

150,000 views later, I still find my YouTube channel one of the most fulfilling things in my life at the moment (despite the fact that I am very busy and don't have so much time for videos these days), because it is my way of giving back and sharing Emacs with a wider community.

In addition to the technicalities of video production and teaching Emacs, this talk will also address two crucial topics in our community — a love of Emacs and desire for its longevity, and spreading Emacs to new users.

In particular, I will discuss my views on the sharing of information in the Emacs community — how we do it, what it does for us, and how we can do it better.

People often complain about the Emacs learning curve. As we all know, Emacs is a beast, and those who use and love Emacs spend years tweaking, adjusting, modifying, and, above all, learning. Because at the end of the day, Emacs is a personal journey. Everyone has preferences, searching for what makes them most comfortable, happy, and productive. Still, I believe that we are stronger together than we are apart. One of the best ways to find out what we like is by seeing what other people like. What's important is that what other people like, other people can understand.

I hope you'll come check out my talk, and that it will inspire you to do one of the most honorable things one can do: teach and share with others.

About the speaker:

Jacob Boxerman is the creator of Straightforward Emacs, a video-based Emacs series with practical, easy-to-follow and implement tutorials and advice. He is a 2nd-year computer science student at Columbia University in New York and is interested in the intersections of computer science, finance, and psychology. In his talk today, titled "Sharing Emacs is Caring Emacs: Emacs Education and Why I Embraced Video," he will share his views on communication and sharing in the Emacs community, and how we can all do our part to spread Emacs, support each other, and ensure its growth.


Questions and answers

  • Q: Are you using ox-reveal to make your slides? If not, what are you using? They look very elegant.
    • A: Yes, and Jacob has a video about it on his channel!
  • Q: Videos can be very inspirational to learn about something by watching it used. I often find I need to do some research after watching a video to learn more. Do you give people links to relevant resources etc?
    • A: Definitely something that I can do more of.  I like to think of my videos as jumping-points to the manual.
  • Q: What are your fellow cohort of students using for their editors?  What kinds of "feedback" do you get from them when they learn about you using Emacs? (Missed your talk so perhaps you answered this)
    • A: Professors making entry to comp sci as "accessible/simple" as possible.  In 3rd course the professor gives option of either Emacs or Vim.  Professor uses vim; so the class gravitates towards that.  A 4th course, in assembly, and the professor suggests Emacs.  At Columbia, vim is more used (as it's modeled)
  • Q: Did you start those university classes using Emacs?
    • A: Yes. (Two years before entering college); taking notes in org-mode for programming classes is the BEST!!!  Syntax highlighting, inline code blocks, literate-esque programming is great for school.  Professors want PDFs on their desk!  And org-mode simplifies this process.
    • Also presenter is in humanities, and writes their humanities essays in org-mode
  • Q: To Leo: Before NeoVim, you had to do as much (or more) configuration to get basic editing done than in Emacs. It's also slower with modal editing compared to Emacs keybindings because you have to press Esc and two keys to get things done while in Emacs you only have to press C/M-something (one keypress) to move or search or whatever and then write. I instantly became productive for writing when I switched to Emacs. (I have 5 times tried to adopt Vim...and each time I get a bit better.  But Emacs was lightning in a bottle for "productivity"; for those where vim works, I love it.  And am eccstatic that they are owning their editor)
    • A:
  • Q: Wha was a question you'd hoped we'd ask of you?
    • A:


  • Cool talk! :-)
  • I've used your videos before! Thanks for all the good work.
    • So awesome to hear that!! You are welcome and thanks for letting me know, love to hear it
  • Ha ha. I think Emacs users might just enjoy inconvenience. If a picture is worth a thousand words ... then maybe the value of a video is based on frame rate.
  • Agreed, jakeb --- video is worth it.
  • Interesting to think about video beeing worth it while watching a video of the conference.


[00:00:00.000] Introduction

Hello everyone, I'm Jacob Boxerman. I'm a sophomore at Columbia University studying computer science. I'm so excited to be here today right at the end of EmacsConf 2023. So glad to be able to share with everyone today. EmacsConf is really the epitome for me of sharing and of learning about Emacs.

[00:00:20.100] Today's talk

And in my closing keynote titled "Sharing Emacs is Caring Emacs," I want to drive that home, and I want to make every day a day for learning and for sharing in our community. I'd like to share my own journey of sharing the joy of Emacs and convince you that sharing the ways we share and how we participate in our Emacs community, those are the most important things to both grow our community and to increase our own personal joy in Emacs.

[00:00:48.900] My history with Emacs

My journey of sharing begins with my journey of learning. So I'll start by spending a bit of time on that. I use Emacs every day for personal organization and to-dos -- you know, schoolwork, projects, exams, readings. I use Org Mode for that, write essays, make presentations like this one. I also write in various programming languages including Java, C, Python, locally and also remotely for projects, classes, other responsibilities. I really started with Emacs during the pandemic. I had tried Emacs before, but at the time all I knew it for was M-x tetris. But then its power and its configurability even then especially spoke to me. So from those little humble beginnings, trying different preconfigured distros, I slowly made my way to building my own 2000+ line configuration, which actually surprisingly has about 70 stars, a few watchers, a few forks on GitHub. Pretty straightforward.

[00:01:42.380] Self-exploration vs learning from others

But what exactly was that learning process like? Now, Emacs was such a beast to me at first. I was familiar with Python, with C, Java, languages like that. I was no stranger to the shell configuration, anything like that. But the absolute infinity of possibility with Emacs was a bit overwhelming. I find a sentiment in the community that exploring on one's own was greater than exploring and learning from others. And now I see why people say that and it's true in a sense, but it might not be fully understood. At a certain point, we need to all create our own paths. And I think that's just one of the ways Emacs is built. The minute possibilities of configurability are so vast, it's like a fingerprint or a snowflake -- there are so many options to create a totally unique Emacs experience. Of course that can't be found from somebody else -- It has to come from you. Still, building a strong foundation is much, much better when we have others. Expanding on that foundation is, too, actually. My own process started with a lot of Googling, blog posts, YouTube, and Reddit.

[00:02:53.220] Learning process

I actually found Emacs on YouTube. Seeing how other people used it was what really convinced me to try it for myself. At a certain point when my confidence grew, my trial and error became less error and more success. I was also able to take what I saw other people do, learn from it, and expand, making it my own. And through that time, I learned Emacs.

[00:03:17.020] Emacs learning (not just learning Emacs)

But I also participated in Emacs learning. What's the difference? We often discuss the former, grappling with key binds, commands. But Emacs learning goes beyond these technicalities. It's a mindset. It thrives on collaboration. It's not a solo endeavor; it flourishes best when we do it together. This involves collaborating together, creating a collaborative mindset, sharing effective strategies, lifting each other through our collective pool of knowledge. Together, we contribute to the growth of each member within our vibrant community. Emacs learning is much, much harder to do alone. And I wanted to help with that.

[00:04:03.300] My YouTube journey

So this brings me to the second part of my talk, my Emacs journey, how I got started and where I am today with my YouTube channel, my Straightforward Emacs series with nearly 200,000 views.

[00:04:14.820] Why not just read the manual?

The Emacs Manual is often pushed as the best way to learn Emacs. It's an all-encompassing tome. And as amazing as I think it is, I don't think it's reasonable to push the Emacs manual so hard, which is something I felt at first. It can be really daunting. It's dense. There's a lot there. It's just a bit too much for a beginner, or even someone with a little bit of experience. These qualities, I feel, apply to many of the Emacs resources we can find out there. The best word for them is heavy. They look, they feel, they come across as heavy regardless of what they may actually be. It's not even that people are too lazy, or not capable enough (because that's never true). It's just a mental block that takes some getting over, and that's okay -- so we need other things, too. For me, that was video. I wanted someone to tell and show me what I wanted to know, as well as things I didn't even know were possible. I realized this once I'd progressed a little further in my Emacs journey. I wanted to do my part. I care about Emacs. I started to really care about Emacs.

[00:05:20.980] Why video for Emacs

So I wanted to share about Emacs. So at that point, I refocused my work with Emacs beyond just myself. I wanted to help others feel the excitement that I did. So where did I turn, and why? It's so trite, but they say that a picture is worth a thousand words. So how much is a video worth? Everyone learns differently, and that's okay. But it's absolutely certain to me that you need to see something to believe it. So for that, I turned to video. And it turns out that seeing is believing.

[00:05:54.420] Straightforward Emacs

I made a short video showing off Emacs Org Mode. I didn't even have a voiceover. That video, less than five minutes long, but still incorporating some of my core principles, now has over 55,000 views and counting. So, something must have been right. And the positive reception to that video made me want to continue. I decided to continue with the videos in a series I titled "Straightforward Emacs." And I'm asked: who is the target audience for Straightforward Emacs? It's me. They're the videos I wish I had existed when I was figuring out Emacs' numerous and wonderful features.

[00:06:32.700] Challenges and benefits of video

Video does, I admit, come with its own set of challenges. Complaints that video is less accessible, it's valid. They're more time consuming, it's valid too. It's harder to skim a video than a blog post, and referring back can be a little annoying. To try and solve this, I make video notes available as best I can though. It's not perfect. Despite these valid claims, I believe video offers a sense of personality that written content just can't. And that makes it well worth it. My first two videos in the series received a combined 35,000 views. I still get kind comments today from viewers thanking me, asking questions. So I must have done something right, to outweigh those cons of video, to outweigh those common complaints.

[00:07:16.300] Crafting tutorials that work

What was it? I covered topics that had been done before. But I wanted to present them in my way. In the way that I knew people would appreciate, because it's what I would have appreciated when I started my Emacs journey. In writing, I navigated towards clarity. Crystal clear, step-by-step instructions. Fully scripted, recorded in multiple parts and spliced together. That allowed me to achieve my second goal: no wasted time, or word, or thought. I meticulously cut my videos to create smooth dialogue. I cut out large blocks of typing if not explained. Though this does vary video to video. Less scripted, more personal video receives less editing. Like this talk itself, it's not edited at all. And though prerecorded, I wanted to present my unfiltered, raw self.

[00:08:11.720] High-quality and accessible content

Another goal of mine is high quality and accessible content. I speak carefully and I tune my volume, making it easier to listen to, and improving YouTube's auto-captioning. Something I didn't consider at first, but was mentioned to me in a comment, was color scheme. Now I try to select a scheme with good contrast and a readable font. Content-wise, I design my tutorials to ensure they cater to various skill levels, as well as learning preferences. My videos assume basic Emacs knowledge but not too much more. Importantly, they're configuration agnostic. However you feel about Emacs' 'distributions', Doom, Spacemacs, etc, they're out there, and beginners often don't distinguish. I admit it can be a bit frustrating to see a Reddit post asking a question about unexpected behavior, without mention of the fact that they have literally thousands of lines of non-standard configuration in the form of an Emacs distribution. So I do my best to mention different possible keybindings a viewer might be using.

[00:09:17.920] Most crucial aspect of my videos

There was one thing, though, that turned out to be the most crucial part of my videos and series. And it's one of the reasons itself for this talk. You may have already picked up on it. It's the personal aspect. Sharing myself. Incorporating relatable examples, scenarios that resonate with my audience. Seeing personal use cases, examples, and demonstrations of real life Emacs use is really what began to build a community. Because that's the stuff that can jump out of the video and into the comments.

[00:09:50.220] A broadening community

The idea for this talk started as a story of my YouTube journey. I wanted to share how I began sharing Emacs and why I like it. And I think I've done that. Thanks to the EmacsConf organizers, though, I started to see a larger vision. Each video I made took a lot of effort, from research and planning to script writing, filming and editing. But those comments made it worth it -- people saying that straightforward Emacs was just what they were looking for, and that they appreciated my sharing. That's what made me want to continue. And what made me want to continue even more was the community I was building. I'd start to see repeat viewers who'd come back for my latest upload. It's hard for me to find time to produce videos. But whether it was two weeks or four months later when I finally got around to uploading, those same commenters would be there for me. And I found real joy in actively engaging with my audience. It was amazing to see how my videos -- me sharing useful Emacs tips, sharing the way I do things -- sparked broader discussions. On any chat form out there, there's no doubt you'll find some sort of cross discourse. I'd see viewers replying to other commenters, and my videos were no exception. Seeing how my videos sparked conversation, debate and further interest was incredible.

[00:11:10.780] Sharing Emacs

We've had two amazing days of sharing Emacs, putting ourselves out there, and sharing in a community. I want to emphasize how amazing a strong community with the right values is, and to inspire each and every one of us to do our part to strengthen that community. The point of my talk isn't to tell you to pick up your microphone and produce a YouTube video, though that wouldn't hurt. We're not all interested in that, and that's okay. First, I want everybody to pat themselves on the back for the mere fact that we are here together. Then let's turn to the potential within our community.

[00:11:48.020] Platforms

First, though, I'll briefly note that everyone has their opinions about platforms, and I'm not here to make judgments, but freedom, equity, and accessibility are important, but reach is, too.

[00:11:57.922] Achieving unity

Regardless of the platform, one thing remains certain: our strength lies in unity. Like any online community, this calls for unique ways to come together and share. How can we achieve this unity? The key is finding avenues where our collective knowledge and our support can flourish, while each person can find a place for themselves, creating a more connected and empowered Emacs community. From uplifting others with positive contributions to engaging on platforms like Reddit, both idealistic and concrete approaches are really valuable. We can continue lively debate on community forums and discussion boards, encouraging a positive and inclusive atmosphere for asking questions and seeking help. We can leverage social media platforms to share quick tips, tricks, or interesting discoveries related to Emacs. Those who enjoy writing can contribute to blogs and newsletters, sharing personal expertise and experiences with a larger audience. Let's also not underestimate the value of online video, as I've said, and learning platforms too. Creating and sharing tutorials on platforms like YouTube or educational websites addresses specific aspects of Emacs and benefits learners, while contributing a personal touch. Participating in or organizing Emacs-related courses also fosters a structured learning environment where there's so much room for mentorship and support, which is valuable for everyone involved.

[00:13:30.000] Every contribution is valuable

We can also call on our open source [* free software] values and focus on collaborative projects, from coding projects where we can contribute and learn to building shared documentation and guides that compile collective knowledge on specific topics -- the Emacs Wiki is a great place to start and continue that work as well. Especially for those who might be less willing to put themselves out there, it's essential to recognize that every contribution, regardless of its scale, adds value to our community. Documentation contributions, however small, can go a long way. So do translations, for those who are able to increase accessibility, as well as testing and bug reporting. Reporting issues to package maintainers in their desired format -- speaking as one myself, I appreciate when users give helpful feedback. There are options for everybody, big and small. Remember, the strength of our community lies in its ability to share, collaborate, and learn together. Whether through collaborative projects, sharing insights on forums, or leveraging social media, by embracing these ideas, we can build a more connected and empowered Emacs community.

[00:14:40.300] Conclusion

Now Emacs is so very personal. Those of us who have our own carefully manicured configurations understand -- Emacs molds to our liking and our person. Our configurations and use-cases are a reflection of our individuality. Nonetheless, the richness of our community lies in collaboration, sharing, and learning together. There's a lot of talk in the community about how to ensure Emacs' longevity. I agree it's important. We care because of passion, excitement, and utility. We want to share and we want to have others love what we love. We also want a stronger community that fosters new innovation. I used to buy into complaints I'd read online that Emacs' defaults are too unapproachable. The default color scheme and the font is unappealing. Fix that and people will flock. Sounds fair, I'd think. Turns out, it's not what we need. Emacs is bigger than that. What we need is like what we've done here this weekend. Like EmacsConf. It's the absolute epitome of sharing about and caring about Emacs. We are here both working to grow our community, and to strengthen what we already have. We're here because we find joy in Emacs, and that joy is amplified by sharing it with and among others. So let's continue this journey together, navigating Emacs with a spirit of collaboration, because in unity, we find not just strength but the enduring legacy of a tool that we hold very dear. Thank you to everybody here for being part of this shared adventure. Let's go forth and share, together.

Captioner: sachac

Q&A transcript (unedited)

background might be able to see you live in about 10 seconds as soon as the stream catches up. Hi Jacob, how are you doing? How are you doing today? talk of the day so I'm very excited not because it finishes but because I am tired Well thanks for all of your hard work. We all really appreciate it and all the other organizers. the organizers thank you but you know it all it makes it all worthwhile when we see the valuable contribution that every single 1 of our speakers are making, not only for recording their talks, which is a tough demand on people to say, oh, if you want to go to EmacsConf, you might want to record your talk. But then almost all of you do it and you spend a lot of time with us answering questions. So we couldn't do it. You know, we wouldn't be spending as much energy, half as much energy, if we didn't believe that it was worth it. So now it's me thanking you on behalf of all the speakers. to get across in my talk was that coming together and sharing ourselves and you know not just putting little little essays out there and single videos but coming together as a community you know sharing ourselves our faces our voices you know it really brings us together and makes everyone stronger. theme. Most of the talks we have at EmacsConf, they're usually about sharing, obviously, sharing the knowledge that they've acquired, either writing a package or learning how to use Emacs as a professor in academia or stuff like this. But what I particularly like this year about the different talks we've had is that they've really made the sharing even more obvious. We've had the mentoring this afternoon and we have your talk about using videos as a different medium to get into something. And I really think in terms of accessibility to Emacs, all of you who talked about this topic are doing a wonderful job. So, thank you again for all of this. be answering? people as usual to please add their question to the pad or to join us on BBB. Now the chat is open if you want to join us on BBB and ask your questions directly. And in the meantime, I will read the first question. So, Kroting, are you using OxReveal to make your slides? If not, what are you using? They look very elegant, and I concur. I have a whole entire video on it. So if you're interested, feel free to take a look. It's very simple to get started with. There are a lot of different packages to use Reveal.js and Emacs. OxReveal or OrgReveal seems to be pretty easy to use. So try that 1 out. Yeah, it's really nice. time for the other people to finish writing their answer. In the meantime, I'll ask you 1 of my own. So you said you were in college, right? In com sci. Sorry, people in computer science who have, from the get-go, as soon as their bachelor, an appetite for sharing and vulgarizing a lot of knowledge. Because it feels like if you get started like this, you're gonna have a well over time as you progress with the learning. So I'm very excited to see what you do in the coming years because of this. And Emacs has been like very central to my education as well. It's a great way to sort of organize myself and also it's a good way to share with other people with Org Mode. I can export my code, I can export notes. It makes it so simple. My peers are also impressed by my PDF documents and whatever I can produce with takes us to get LaTeX to behave properly. questions coming in I can answer. little more interactive. So, second question. Videos can be very inspirational to learn about something by watching it used. I often find it, I often find that I need to do some research after watching a video to learn more. Do you give people links to relevant resources or etc? more of. When I make a video I try to combine all the relevant resources and make 1 sort of cohesive video. I like to think of my video as a jumping off point to the Emacs manuals because the manuals are so so full but you need to have a sort of a cursory understanding to get started with them. And then yeah, if there are other sort of GitHub links or something like that, I like to put those in the description. back also. I keep using the word arcing back. I'm sorry. It's my... Every EmacsConf I have 1 word or 1 phrase that I keep saying over and over again and this 1 is not leaving but don't worry we only have about 1 more hour and then you're done with me arcing out, arcing back to stuff. I think this is reminding me of both the mentoring talk we've had today about onboarding people basically so that they can have a well of a time on their own on Emacs and I'd agree with you, you know, as much as we like to rave about Emacs as a self-documenting editor, about how complete the documentation is, As you've mentioned in your talk, it's not accessible directly to the people. We can yell as much as we want to people on IRC, you just need to RTFM or you just need to do Ctrl-H-V for the variable or Ctrl-H-F. What is a variable? I am not for computer science. What does it mean? It is really blocking a lot of people right from the get-go. And I think the element of interactivity, as you've mentioned in your talk, that is introduced by video just makes the hand-holding that much easier. And it's great to do it like this. All right, I think we've got another questions. What are your fellow codes of students using for their editors? What kinds of feedback do you get from them when they learn about you using Emacs? I think professors want to make things, the entry as simple as possible. So for the first computer science course and the second, at least at Columbia, They use Codeo, which is 1 of those online whole IDEs. Now in the third course, which is sort of more the weed out as they call it, the professor gives you a choice and he says you can use Emacs or you can use Vim. And everyone uses Vim. Not a single person I know is using Emacs, simply because the professor's using Vim and that's what he shows on screen and that's just what everyone else falls into. And it's also, like, they're totally in the terminal, and that can be a big barrier of entry. So I think they see Emacs as like something like Vim, but it's not sort of the same idea. It's not what everyone uses because it's not what's being shown up on screen. So if you're not following, like if you're a new learner, if you're not following with Vim, you might have a little bit of a harder time in these classes because everyone else is also using Vim. it feels like this is the last talk, so I'm reminiscing of all the different talks we've had on the general chat, at least. And you know, it feels like we had, you know, this 1 talk, I can't remember the first name at the presentation, but it was about forcing people to use Emacs and not giving them the choice to do this. And I found it to be such a powerful move to do because usually people, maybe some classes are actually forcing Vim because it's a little more palatable I guess. Do you have something to say on this? thing, I know there's another course, a fourth course you'd say in assembly and the professor suggests Emacs. However I know that's just 1 professor so I think broadly Vim is more of the standard and yeah what were you, can you repeat what you said about Vim being more sort of friendly? okay, I'm quoting the opinions of other, you know, I would hate to insult Emacs and give myself a bad rep at Emacs comfortable things. But it feels like because modal editing is usually something that people hear from when it starts looking into how to be more efficient when they read text. It feels like the first door, the closest door to this is Vim. And so a lot of professors, because there's very little on-boarding, I mean, I'm going to say the word on-boarding and then I'm going to modulate, but there's very little on-boarding to get into modal editing. You just have your H's and your J's and your K's and your L's and everything works. You know, it does something, yes, the arrows are in weird places, but it does something that is vaguely logical. Whereas with Ctrl-Meta, Hyper, Super, J and then Ctrl-C and Meta 4 for good measure, you know, It already feels a little more opaque in terms of how people are going to use this. So, I think it's also 1 good thing about the videos is that people can see you're not contorting your hands in very difficult shapes to use Emacs as the bad rep usually is. But yeah, to come back to what I was saying about Vim, I just feel like they've won the battle in terms of looking very accessible. And for us with Emacs, from the top of our ivory tower, we see the ease of getting into Vim, but we always think, but Vim script is shit, we've got Elisp for us, We can do so many things on our end. So yeah, does that evoke anything to you with regards to Vim versus Emacs in terms of apprehension? straightforward if you just plop someone down in front of their computer because you press H, you're going to see an H on the screen, right? And Vim is a whole new modal mindset. So for a student who wants to like gain efficiency, then yes, I think that Vim is definitely like, it feels like a more friendly introduction. But I think that Emacs doesn't get enough credit around here. And I'd like to see it more often, because a lot of students, they're not looking to fix the efficiencies in their text editing. They're looking to fix the efficiencies in how they do homework or how they do their programming assignments, and they would save time if they, or at least the mentality for a student, is that if you can just get it done more quickly, like it's more, you know, you do what you're used to, and Vim is just a barrier towards you know getting your work done like how do I copy and paste something it's a whole new set of challenges to learn so I think both have their deficiencies and abilities. on this it feels like modal editing because it is already weird from the get-go, perhaps it might do a better job of making people uneasy. You know how we say that constraints breeds creativity. Well, Vim constrains you from the get-go. If you do not press I, nothing is going to show up in the buffer that you're currently editing. Whereas Emacs give you this full sense of security by when you press J, moving on to another question. And by the way, we've got some time. We have technically about 6 more minutes, but I see Sasha on the other track is already answering questions that I'm in about EmacsConf. So we can go a little longer, as long as I let the organizers know. So we've got about, let's say, 6 minutes for now. And we'll see if more questions crop up. All right, moving on to the next question. Did you start those university classes using Emacs, I suppose, in your first year? years before entering college, so my junior year of high school. And I've basically over time built up a workflow of how I will take my notes, how I will organize my classes. And now that I'm taking programming classes where Emacs might be more acceptable. It's even enhanced my workflow. Taking notes in Ouro for program assists, everyone talks about it, but from the source, It doesn't get better than that, being able to write with highlighting, with syntax highlighting, with easy exports, running inline code blocks. And a lot of these programming classes, they make you code on a server. And they just say, oh, SSH, and you can use Vim. I can use Tramp, and I can use Emacs, and I'm perfectly at home. It's just such a seamless transition. It's a really amazing way to do school. Professors, you know, all they want is a PDF at the end of the day. They just want the paper on their desk. They're not so picky about how you get it there. They just want it in their hands. So, so Emacs is, it's very usable. It's very doable. because you're speaking about the topic of Emacs at university from the perspective of someone who is in computer science. But for me, in the humanities, I just remember those professors who just required you not to use your laptop. And I started with Emacs roughly at the same age as you did. And I was just using it for absolutely everything, for my organization, for producing papers. And to be told that I could not use Emacs for a class for my note-taking, I felt utterly naked in the face of what I needed to do. And yeah, it's great to see those different experiences. And it just, you're always going to be weird. Like I was the weird guy using Emacs in the humanities, but I would have been weird using Vim or any kind of computers with fancy editing. as well, I'm not in a strictly engineering, so people will see me writing an essay about, you know, a philosophy essay, I was working on an essay about Plato and Aristotle, and they say, what are you coding, why are you coding your essay? And I say, well it's just the font looks a little bit different. Everything else is the same words, just the font looks a little different. This is how I like to do it. pass as hackers. But for everyone who is behind us, looking at our monitors. I guess, towards me and what I said about Vim. So, quoting, before NeoVim, you had to do as much or more configuration to get basic editing done than in Emacs. It's also slower with modal editing compared to Emacs key bindings because you have to press escape and 2 keys to get things done. While in Emacs, you only have to press Ctrl or Meta something to move or search or whatever, and then write. And I tend to agree, I'm not familiar with the ages before NeoVim, But I think we are mostly talking in terms of reputation and communication, like how is Vim considered nowadays or for the last 10 years in the mindset of people choosing or about to choose an editor. And, You know, I keep spitting the fact about VimScript being bad, but I'm going to be honest, I've never actually written any VimScript. I'm just parroting whatever the giants with shoulders I'm standing have been saying to me. And it's not very intelligent, I know, but We also have a very limited pool of time, and I also think that this is a point that your talk addresses in a way. Yes, we could be starting the massive quest of reading the Emacs manual or the ELISP introductory guide or the ELISP complete guide. A lot of people are trying, very highly motivated, I'm going to get started on Emacs and I'm going to do things right. But the fact of the matter is, it's not necessarily a good use of your time to get started like this, because there are so many things you're not going to understand, it kind of goes back, didn't say iBug this time, I stopped myself, it kind of goes back to this I plus 1 Vigoski proximals on development stuff that I was talking about before. The manual is I plus 999. Your video might be I plus 3 or I plus 2 and the hand-holding really does wonders for people to eventually get closer to reading the manuals and stuff like this. giving someone those practical demonstrations, that's something I really appreciate. A lot of these really nice presentations we've had today and yesterday show real life use cases and we get to see people typing and they're working how they would normally work. And that's a great way to begin to understand how you can apply a tool to yourself because at the end of the day Emacs is a tool for us. You know we might take joy in it, it helps us be more productive, it's fun but we're using it for a certain end and you know if we how we can understand to get to those ends and what those ends might even be. It's just great to see other people bring that forth for you. questions in the chat currently, and I don't see anyone who's joined us on the blue button. We are near the time that I said we've got about 40 seconds to go until we were due to end. Jacob, I kind of want to give you the microphone for the end. Do you have anything to say? Like you've talked about your YouTube channel, we've already ensured that the links will be everywhere on the talk page, in the pad, on IRC. But is there anything else you'd like to add? Because you're the last speaker of EmacsCon, and you've got the tough responsibility of finishing it. had 2 days. I mean, so many people, so many presenters coming together and like I said right at the beginning to Leo, putting your face out there, putting your voice out there, putting yourself out there, it's such a great way to come together because Emacs is not the standard. You know, I've tried to teach my friends Emacs, I've tried to show it to them. You know, some people you get it or you don't. And the people who get it, we're not all in the same place. And it's great. think we were supposed to kill the the cron which starts the next meeting and it hasn't. Let me try to fix it. I'll talk to production I'm very sorry. I've given you the mic and then it just... Okay let me just check your production. What? All right, Jason. All right, Jacob, I'm going to put us manually back on track. So give me just a second. because it's a janky setup that we've got right now, when whenever it's not working. All right. So tps slash slash bbb emacs first dot org html. No, that's not the 1. Let me try to type it. Probably. Bbbemaxfirst. L5H, R5D, BH0 Okay, we're getting back Okay, sorry folks about this We are, Jacob, We're back online. I'm really sorry about this. It's just that Sasha's script kicked in. I did tell you we were supposed to finish at

  1. And because Sasha is busy presenting in
the other room, sadly, we got yanked again. So Jacob, I'm very sorry for the interruption. And you were retelling people about something you told me during the check-ins. Do you mind restarting this? small task of making the last words from presenters and not the organizers at EmacsConf. And I said, well, that's not hard at all. How many speakers have we had? 30? And it's so incredible these past, you know, today and yesterday to have all been able to come together and not just share our ideas and our code and how we do things, but to share our faces and our voices and our lives, you know a little bit of our lives. You know to have the passion to even spend the time to on your weekend to watch this means that you have some sort of care about Emacs and it adds to your life. And you know those Emacs people aren't everywhere. I've tried to bring my friends onto Emacs and it seems like you know you're an Emacs person or you're not really an Emacs person. And those Emacs people can be really spread out. So it's great that we're able to come together and share a little bit of ourselves, a little bit of how we do things. And like I said in my talk, just increase our own joy in Emacs by coming together and being able to share our joy in Emacs. And of course, thank you to all the organizers and everyone who's contributed in any way. It means a lot to even the smallest member, the biggest member of our community. We're all really glad to be able to come together like this and share and meet each other and give nice talks. Jacob. And perhaps to reassure people, because yes, right now it feels like we are legions, all of us here in the same room watching the same thing. We are the Emacs' and that's a very good feeling to have. But you know, first, there's 1 thing that is certain, almost 99% certain, it's the fact that next year there'll probably be another EmacsConf and there will be more Emacs versions, there will be more augmented versions, there will be more people doing cool stuff on Melpa, on ELPA, etc. So it is still a vibrant community. But in case you're craving this little extra in-person stuff, Sash and myself, we are maintaining a list of all the Emacs user group. This is on the Emacs wiki. This is what I'm sharing on my screen currently. And we try to organize them by regional region, sorry, parts of the world like North America, South America, Europe, Africa, Asia. And we have a list of upcoming events and a lot of them are still online. Ever since we had the entire pandemic stuff, a lot of the workshops moved online and, sorry, I had someone whispering in my ear. A lot of them moved online and they are still online now because they've realized it's a very great way to get more people in the same place. And whilst it's great to have in-person meetings, We do this with Emacs Paris. Emacs Paris actually is happening is it? I think, oh I'm going to need to tell Sasha that apparently yes we do not have the next event for Emacs Paris which is next Tuesday and it is in person but for everyone and including you Jacob if you find a workshop in North America that is working for you, I'm thinking about Emacs SF, which I've attended multiple times, and Emacs Austin as well, that I've been to once, I think, It would be a lovely experience and a way to, most of them are every month, it would be a good way for you to stay in touch and to continue this sense of in-person-ness about Emacs. Should I drop off of our call now and let you close things up? Let me just check on Sasha. Sasha is obviously answering many many questions about how we are organizing EmacsConf. So Jacob, I'm gonna let you go. Thank you so much for your presentation and your answers. And maybe we'll see you next year. Or maybe a workshop. When I saw you at my first Emacs Conf 2 years ago, I thought, maybe this guy will do mine. generate such a feeling. All right, I'll get going now. Jacob, have a wonderful evening. see you later. right now? I'm going to set everything up so that we can get Sasha finished on the talk. If you're watching, squinting with both streams, you can go to Sasha's room, I mean, the development track, to maybe catch some of the answers by Sasha. Otherwise, we'll be back in roughly 5 to 10 minutes to do the closing remarks on this channel. In the meantime, I'll put on some music. So bear with us and I'll see you shortly. And closing here. This BBB recording. Yay!

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