I’ve been using emacs since March 2003.

https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/9049688/classical_learning_curves_for_common_editors.jpg (This image is due to email: pi at nightstar.net)

I got into emacs because vi just doesn’t do enough. In the Windows world, I had customized Developer Studio to the point of being arcane; I’m used to typing a function name, hitting a hotkey and having a macro document the function for me, then being able to ctrl-click on a function name to open a browser to the generated documentation. When I asked in #vim how to do this, they stared at me like I had a third arm growing out of my forehead.

In many monster movies, there is a scientist character who gazes lovingly at the monster and gives a soliloquoy about the “animal perfection, the purity of instinct, the elegance of a being bred entirely for killing.” This scientist always gets killed by the monster immediately afterwards.

This is how I feel about emacs. It’s going to kill me soon, I can just tell.

8/17/2009: Six years now. Seems like just yesterday. Of note, if anyone cares: I switched to a Mac, and briefly, TextMate. My recent return to emacs brings with it a renewed appreciation for open source software. I’ve also sat down and made most of the TextMate stuff work in emacs, which rocks.

Seriously Cool Things about Emacs:

ecb - HUGE pain to set up, but SO worth it.
yasnippet - Very simple file-based snippets tool. Like MAbbrev, only it doesn’t crash emacs. Unfortunately, I haven’t used it much lately because emacs-rails requires regular snippets.el, which are defined in lisp rather than TextMate-style template files.
ido.el - fuzzy matching on EVERYTHING!
slime - because, mmmm, lisp
doing shell stuff in emacs (sql-mysql mode, eshell, etc. M-p, M-n FTW!)