I found many rave reviews about emacs. People talked about all the different things you can do with it. Many said that it is not a text editor, it is more of an IDE. Some likened it to an operating system. I read that Emacs has:
- powerful text editing and navigation commands and the ability to access all these commands with the keyboard
- ability to issue shell commands from within Emacs
- ability to perform numerous directory and file operations from within Emacs such as renaming and removing files, creating and deleting directories, browsing them etc.
- content sensitive editing modes for many programming languages and for TeX, LaTeX and ConTeXt.
- ability to function (with the help of modes such as the powerful org-mode) as a Planner, Calendar and Task manager. (I had also been looking for a good Calendar and Task manager and most that I came across were not satisfactory for one reason or another).
- ability to access email and newsgroups.
If you also want to try Emacs and you use Mac OS X, the following are two possible options for downloading it:
- GNU Emacs for Max OS X - These are vanilla builds that do not contain additional packages or patches not contained in the official release of GNU Emacs
- Emacs for OS X modified - This is also based on GNU Emacs but come with AUCTeX and ESS. AUCTeX is useful for those who use TeX or its relatives for writing. From the ESS (Emacs Speaks Statistics) website, ESS is designed to support editing of scripts and interaction with various statistical analysis programs such as R, S-Plus, SAS, Stata and JAGS.