Is Eclipse the next Emacs?
Emacs, for those who know me, I am an big fan of, almost to the point of being religious. And and recently I’ve found another one – Eclipse. Emacs, as most would know is the ultimate editor that is written in a dialect of lisp called elisp (which predates attempts to standardize lisp and common lisp) – was the result of a time and a place where almost every programmer wrote lisp, AI was a buzzword and Symbolics was a household name.
Thus, emacs, naturally was written in the language of its time – lisp. With over 3o years behind its belt, emacs is now a mature multipurpose software application that most people go to the extent of calling it an operating system. The things that made emacs such a huge success story was not only was it written in lisp, the language of the day, it was also extensible in lisp, the language that most programmers who first used emacs knew. Thus, every pet-peeve of almost every programmer was solvable with just a few lines of elisp. Extensibility – Thats what made emacs a huge success. With packages for everything from terminal emulation, remote editing, newsreaders and even a web browser – Emacs is one multipurpose software application.
With, the coming of the AI winter, lisp lost ground and eventually gave way to Java. Java, being severely used in the past 10-20 years has become the lingua franca of the time. And, with Java we have another emacs incarnate, something that’s not only written in Java, also extensible in Java – eclipse. It has the same extensibility as emacs has , though not as mature in terms of extensions as emacs. So, Is Eclipse the next emacs?