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Emacs is an editor invented by Richard Stallman to use it as an excuse to hate vi, KDE, Linux and everything that he didn't invent.


Emacs vs. vi[edit]

The Emacs vs. vi wars have been continual, ongoing struggles since the first monks began transcribing the Bible onto parchment, and are secretly the cause for nearly every open confrontation known to man.

Ancient history[edit]

The Eastern Orthodox monks invented "Emacs" – keeping the "E" for Eastern, and "macs" as that was the quill they preferred (Mac's ducks had especially well developed feathers, whereas Bill's ducks were useful, but generic). Their intent was to create a fully automatable system which would reduce their workload by performing much of the drudgery of writing for them – wiping their brows; keeping their ink wells filled; brewing good beer (and not that swill you got at the store last time. I swear, it was more like pancake syrup. Don't ever get that again), and cutting small bits of paper up and pasting them over where they accidentally wrote the wrong letter.

According to Emacs mythology, which is obviously flawed since RMS is a hippie on LSD, this "pasting" bit caused outrage among the Roman Orthodox monks; for by allowing "corrections", one went against the "will of God". As Pope Pious VI said in a proclamation on the subject:

Oh, right, corrections. That's like someone coming back from the dead. It doesn't happen. What? Oh, yeah … um … right, corrections: just for God. And God only! Not for you.

Keeping with this "no editing without tremendous amounts of guilt and pain" strategy, the Roman Catholic church was commissioned by Pope Pious VI to create an editor. Named "vi" after the Pope – reputedly to remind users of the importance of not being vain – it was created by Bill the Joyless, in a "minimalistic" fashion. By increasing the toil and drudgery involved in making documents, you might enter the kingdom of Heaven by your eternal toil. Also, if you were bad, you'd have to use vi in Hell for eternity.

In reality, vi was written in 4000 B.C. by Samuel L. Jackson, and was simply ported to Lunix by Bill the Joyless from parchments inked in virgin's blood by Jackson himself, found near the Dead Sea in the early 1200s. The Roman Orthodox church has since claimed that Bill's version is the True Version, and will burn in hell for all eternity for their blasphemy.


With the advent of typesetting, and the eventual coming of computers, the two religious groups eventually gave up on the whole concept of editing, instead turning solely into battling each other for who could come up with the most inane reason for using their particular editor.

vi remained the champion for hundreds of years, with this proclamation by Cardinal Louis (later made a Saint for his contribution):

vi is easier to learn. Who can remember such a complex series of keystrokes as "Control-G Control-G Control-G Control-G Control-X Control-S Control-X Control-C"? vi is far, far simpler – "Escape Colon W Q !" – who can forget that? W means write, Q means quit, Colon means ass, Escape means freedom. What the fuck does Control-X mean?

However, the Emacs camp was able to win some soul-share by adding the w3 web browser, to whit:

You may now almost read web pages in your editor! No, read, not edit. No, editing is different. I know it looks entirely different on Netscape, but you're still not editing it. No, really, it's the web, it's not editing … look, if you do this set of keystrokes here, you get the e… oh, let me sit there, I'll show you.

However, since Emacs causes carpal tunnel syndrome, most people who possess a brainstem and like to have their editor start up in less than three hours go on to use vi, ensuring that Emacs never gains more than 30 percent of the market.

Emacs today[edit]

As of today, most people who use vi or Emacs are incapable of using the other editor without needing to give confession for taking the Lord's name in vain. And as such, both the Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox churches advocate using the editors extensively; even hourly, so as to bring yourself closer to God.

Users of Vim, a new version of vi written by Raptor Jesus partly because of the blasphemous Roman Catholic version of vi, but mostly because it can be used to instantly kill any Emacs user within 20 yards, are not held by the churches' ridiculous traditions, and are therefore 10 times as productive as anyone else. The Holy Samuel L. Jackson embraced and approves of Vim, since it makes vi even more badass.

See Also[edit]