I gave up on Emacs fifteen years ago and there is a story behind that. Originally, when I was a student, I used Emacs exclusively when doing programming assignments on Unix systems. When I started programming professionally, it was very rare for me to use a Unix system, so Emacs faded into the background. In recent years, I have increasingly used Linux systems because I do a lot of algorithmic and server-side programming. When this trend began, I first tried to use Emacs, but there was a problem: Emacs indents using spaces, not tabs. I put up with this for a little while, but eventually got annoyed and I made an effort to configure Emacs to use tabs. This is actually extremely complicated to do, believe it or not. I ended up spending an entire afternoon writing a 30-line program in Lisp to try to get Emacs to use tabs. Ultimately, I failed and came to the conclusion that there is no combination of settings that can force Emacs to use tabs and behave in a normal and consistent way. This is not an accident. This is because the creator of Emacs, Richard Stallman, has deliberately borked his editor to prevent anyone from doing what I tried to do: make Emacs use tabs. Superficially, Emacs gives the appearance of supporting tabs because there are several settings with innocent names like |
indent-tabs-mode that give the impresssion that you can indent using tabs, but, in fact, the program is carefully and subtlely crafted to make sure anyone attempting to do this has a frustrating experience.
Now, why would Stallman do such a sinister and evil thing? There begins the tale...