Emacs at universities and schools; and, portability

Fri, 03 Jun 2016 18:55:32 +0200

>> Is it ok to copy over .emacs.d from one
>> machine to another (assume similar OS)?
> Yes

Two more things on this. It is obviously a good
thing that it is portable like this. If it
wasn't, that would be bad. So it is good that
it is movable in terms of technology, for sure.

I have moved my zsh, Emacs, tmux, mplayer, etc.
init (initialization), config, and extention
files between several machines by now.
At first, it was a heck of a job. Now, it goes
much smoother. Total portability tho I haven't
seen. There are always many small things that
break. With Emacs most recently, when I moved
from Debian to Raspbian, I had some problems
with biber (biblatex) and Gnus TLS. The Gnus
problem remains, but the biber was an upgrade
away. I think both problems were related to the
software on Debian was more upgraded.
With actual Emacs, all the Elisp, I don't
remember having any problems.

The best way I found so far is to have
a directory with all the stuff. With rsync(1)
you put it somewhere. On the new machine, you
get it, and then create symlinks where the
programs look for their files.

To put the actual files there is a lot of work.
And then even more so to put them somewhere,
with rsync, as you're likely to continue edit
and refine them, on the new machine! It is too
much diaspora.

The second thing is: universities having Emacs
on their systems and including it in their
education. This also is very good.
Before I attended thrice-accursed computer
science school, I used nano(1). At that time,
I didn't know an editor could be an interface
to the entire system, programmable at that.
But the first course at the university had
a part where we were required to do basic stuff
in Emacs. I don't remember this showing any of
the programmable/all-interface stuff. Still, it
was enough to convince me to start using it, and
I have ever since (even writing this mail/post,
otherwise mailing would be unbearable).

So it is good .emacs.d is portable and it is
good that universities expose students to
Emacs. But I'm still right about the bag of
transistors etc.!

Now, ssh-ing to my school's SunOS 5.10, I see
there is no Emacs binary anymore. Nor nano for
that matter. There is only vi.

What are we going to do about it?

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