February 6, 2019

Saving time with Emacs, or not.

Garrett Hopper

Using Emacs easily saves me hours every day

I’m sorry, but no it doesn’t. If it saves him more than ten minutes a day I’d be shocked.

I prefer to keep my hands on the keyboard as much as possible, and it seems faster, but I’m sure it doesn’t save as much time as I’d like to think it does.

Remember the uproar over Bruce Tognazzini’s research?:

We’ve done a cool $50 million of R & D on the Apple Human Interface. We discovered, among other things, two pertinent facts:

  • Test subjects consistently report that keyboarding is faster than mousing.
  • The stopwatch consistently proves mousing is faster than keyboarding.

We’ve been debating this forever, and if you think keyboarding is always faster, well, that’s what you’re always going to think. And you may be right. I hope you are. I’m not picking on Garrett, and he probably didn’t mean to be specific, but the hours every day” bit reminded me how far off we can be in our assumptions.

And my other observation is that it might have taken weeks to finesse Emacs to a point where one feels so damn efficient. Never getting that time back no matter how many times I don’t grab for the mouse.


emacs workflow


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