Testimonial on Xah Emacs Tutorial

By Xah Lee. Date: . Last updated: .

This page collects testimonials of my emacs/elisp tutorial.

Thank you. I appreciate them very much. Your nice words keep me going.

See also: Xah Fly Keys Testimonial

Buy Xah Emacs Tutorial

xah thanks andrew lowe 2023-02-23
xah thanks andrew lowe 2023-02-23
xah thanks thomas aaron 2022-08-14 w9Wt9
xah thanks thomas aaron 2022-08-14
xah thanks dhwangg 2021-12-07
xah thanks dhwangg 2021-12-07
xah thanks Daniel James Ross  2021-03-15
“Thanks to @xah_lee and his excellent Emacs tutorials I wrote my first (super simple) major mode for @emacs https://github.com/danieljamesross/kintaro-mode”
xah thanks winny 2021-02-28
xah thanks winny 2021-02-28
xah thanks eml 2021-02-13
xah thanks eml 2021-02-13
xah thanks diamondbond 2020-09-06 RPqg2
xah thanks diamondbond 2020-09-06
xah thanks zumzum 2020-07-08 kt7h3
xah thanks zumzum 2020-07-08
xah thanks colt kirk 2020-07-05 x6tsw
xah thanks colt kirk 2020-07-05

thank you for your inspirative sites which help popularize the Emacs. They are like a practice book which complements the GNU reference manuals.

2017-06-08, private email

Thank you so much for providing a wonderful tutorial. It is very good to learn Emacs and ELisp.

2017-06-03, private email

xah thank you yzcj 2020-02-27 h7wyy
xah thank you yzcj 2020-02-27

I just wanted to thank you for the great resource your tutorials are. I started using Xah Fly Keys recently after experiencing pain with my pinky. I have really enjoyed all your articles about typing and keyboards, they're deeply insightful and informative.

Thank you and I look forward to reading more of your work.

— Omar, 2017-02-26

@ErgoEmacs The materials are superb! —Kazuki Yoshida, 2017-01-18 [ https://twitter.com/kaz_yos/status/821756312602152962 accessed: 2017-01-18]

xah keyboard testimonial kinesis nagy 2016-08
[ https://twitter.com/algernoone/status/765611122548469760 accessed: 2016-08-18] • [ https://twitter.com/kinesisergo/status/765598264393469952 accessed: 2016-08-18]

— Gergely Nagy, keyboard firmware programer. 2016-08-16

xah keyboard praise 2016-08-18

Love all the info on your blog about keyboards, Xah - keep it up! ☺

—Steve Dowe, https://plus.google.com/113859563190964307534/posts/Lt5Pd9RcbxH

I've been reading and benefiting from your contributions to the Emacs community for many years now. You are truly a pillar of our community and I am very grateful for your presence in it.


Over the past several years, I cannot count how many times I have Googled an issue and found either a solution or a step in the right direction after reading the Xah Lee tutorial that came up in the internet search. If the tutorial is going to be used in an official curriculum, then probably running the idea by Xah Lee beforehand would be a good idea.

—lawlist, , https://www.reddit.com/r/emacs/comments/4y0qpw/looking_for_an_emacs_tutorialbook_to_give_to/d6kq6jb

Microsoft Cites Xah Lee Website Microsoft Cites Xah Lee Website

from Sacha and Marie emacs tutorial review 2014

Though the landing page says that the tutorial is for scientists and programmers, beginners need not be intimidated! Xah Emacs Tutorial is very noob-friendly. Topics are grouped under categories (e.g. Quick Tips, Productivity, Editing Tricks, etc.) Presentation is a bit wonky though. 4.5/5 stars

from Sacha and Marie. [Emacs beginner resources By Marie Alexis Miravite. At http://sachachua.com/blog/2014/04/emacs-beginner-resources/ , accessed on 2014-04-25 ]

I just want to say thanks for the ingenius tutorial website on Emacs. I can't thank you enough for that. It really transformed my Emacs into a working machine.

Thank YOU for your fantastic resource. I've been an emacs user for 28 years, and I've learned countless things from your tutorials.

;;; coffee-mode.el --- Major mode to edit CoffeeScript files in Emacs
;; Major thanks to http://xahlee.org/emacs/elisp_syntax_coloring.html
;; the instructions.

—Chris Wanstrath [http://ozmm.org/] http://chriswanstrath.com/ (co-founder of Github) At [ http://github.com/defunkt/coffee-mode/blob/master/coffee-mode.el ]

Emacs Modernization: Simple Changes Emacs Should Adopt

I've used Emacs since 1986. Thanks for making such interesting remarks with history and pictures and so forth. In addition, you're right! —NN,

I've been using Emacs for a mere 15 years, but I moved to the ErgoEmacs keys (haven't used the Windows Binary that they ship) when I developed emacs pinky. —Cian, [ http://stackoverflow.com/questions/3323630/should-i-start-out-learning-emacs-with-ergoemacs ]

Dear Xah,

I read much, but don't post. I've been aware of you for years. (Emacs user since it was written in (gasp) Teco. 1977? Probably.)

I just got saved by your valuable article The Confusion of Emacs's Keystroke Representation. Thank you.

About ten times per day recently, I've solved problems and learned things from your tutorials. Thank you, (great emphasis) for writing them and making them available.

I became curious about you and so I read a lot of xahlee.org.

I read fast, read alot.

You are famous, I see, as I recall, for being a troll. I do not understand (for some reason) how your "giving" side (xahlee.org seriously helpful articles) and your "poking at the morons" side live in the same guy, but my not knowing is okay.

I relate to a lot of the feelings you write, too. I should thank you for those writings, too, but that's one of my weird areas. I'm not going to do it now.

Anyway, Thanks!

—Eirikur http://eirikur.net/,

Hey Xah, I just have to say I'm a huge fan. Always nice to see an avid Emacs user out there. How did you get started blogging? I find it hard to maintain momentum.

I ran into your emacs site a couple of times from the emacs wiki. At some point I started to read a lot of your articles, but limited to lurking.

I love your writing style and what you have to say. I wish more people were as brazen as you ;-)

—Paul Hobbs http://www.facebook.com/phobbs,

He's not popular with some on the more established Emacs users because of his outspokenness on the some of the more newbie unfriendly aspects of Emacs, but Xah Lee is an excellent resource with carefully argued points and practical approach to, amongst other things, eLisp usage :-;


It is a learn by doing approach and might work well for you


—Richard Riley http://richardriley.net/, At http://groups.google.com/group/gnu.emacs.help/msg/d923ad28c319c337?

http://ergoemacs.org/emacs/emacs.html Great emacs blog. Even more use to me, as an elisp (poor) hacker. http://ergoemacs.org/emacs/buy_xah_emacs_tutorial.html $5 for the 'book'. 10/10 for me.


Just stumbled across an interesting argument by Xah Lee that echoes my own thoughts about Emacs and C21: http://ergoemacs.org/emacs/modernization.html

— Liam Proven https://twitter.com/lproven,

Xah, I have just recently begun learning emacs, but your website http://ergoemacs.org/emacs/effective_emacs.html has been such a big help for me. How interesting that I came searching for an answer to a problem and ran across you again.

—serendipitous_sam, , Source groups.google.com

Xah Lee consistently has some of the best info out there on emacs. Thanks!

—borodino, At http://www.reddit.com/r/emacs/comments/h3qr6/emacs_lisp_browseurl_function_to_view_url_in_a/

Just an FYI I'm a returning visitor but it has been a few years. Glad to see the site is still going strong! I credit you and Yegge primarily for getting me over the hump in the Emacs learning curve.

—Charles S.

nemshilov: that's probably the most sane elisp tutorial I've seen http://xahlee.org/emacs/elisp.html

—Twitter tweet,

Xah Lee, thanks a lot for this helpful innovation! [Emacs Select Word Command Problem] I'm reading your ingenious reflections on emacs issues on several occasions. Your homepage is a valuable source for me as for many others I'm sure.

Thanks for your work and for sharing it,

—Chris, Switzerland.

thanks, your intro really helped me to get into lisp in 2 days. maybe it would even be better for people who never worked with functional programming languages, if you could mention this concept at the beginning more precisely. this paradigma often confuses people a lot. but thats just a small thing, your tutorial really helped, thanks!


[comment on Elisp: Quick Start]

And btw, your book idea is great. I probably buy 20 programming book a year. And they sell for 40-50 dollar each. So it looks like it would be worth while.

You have an excellent teaching style, and I personally own the O'Reilly Emacs book; which was very disappointing. I have learned more from your blog than I've learned from my emacs book, and my 2 lisp books. With that said, I wouldn't think twice about paying good money for you book.

—Shaun, @ http://xahlee.blogspot.com/2010/12/what-emacslisp-tutorial-you-like-to-see.html

Emacs Lisp's Library System

This has been incredibly helpful in clearing up when to use autoload vs. require or whatever else. Exactly what I needed.

The toughest part of working in new languages is always learning the editing/compiling environment (which for many/most Lisps means learning Emacs, which means learning tons of Emacs Lisp at the same time, and things start to get confused when you have dozens of buffers open on different Lisp dialect files!). There are always great texts on the languages themselves, but documentation on environments is always either sparse or very scattered (so many different flavors and you've gotta just tough it out and setup the best combination).

I remember the same struggle while learning C -- "Hey, all this code seems to make sense, now I want to try it out… whaaaaat? What are all these command line options to cc? How come Kernighan and Richie didn't tell me about this? MAKEFILES? WTF?! I JUST WANT TO TRY THIS CODE".

So what you have provided here has helped me immensely in finally getting my environment up to speed.

Thank you so much!

—Jerry, At http://xahlee.blogspot.com/2010/07/emacs-lisps-library-system.html

nice little page and the line endings changer function and mapc worked beautifully for me on about a million files.


—david tristram, At [http://xahlee.blogspot.com/2010/05/emacs-line-return-and-dos-unix-mac-all.html accessed on 2012-11-29]

I'm getting into modifying Emacs to do what I want, and (first) learning all that it's capable of. It's amazing when I actually poke around in what's possible.

Here's a great tutorial. This guy has a bunch of valuable tips (and I like that his favorite keyboard is the same as mine, the Microsoft Natural Keyboard 4000).

Here is his description of Emacs support for bookmarks, which I just happened to read about today.

And this is how I found it, frustrated that ctrl-j doesn't work in Ruby mode, because that mode “overrides” my “globally” set key.

Finally a “new” (old) language to learn, ironically, one that I’ve been using for 15 years.

—Jeff Pace, At http://jpace.wordpress.com/

Subject: Own programming language mode - syntax highlighting

Following Xah Lee's excellent tutorial, I have been able to get the basics done - syntax highlighting, indentation, and so on. What I am missing is a small part of the syntax highlighting related to variables. …

At http://groups.google.com/group/gnu.emacs.help/browse_frm/thread/67f8f5ed8fdf49c4#

Ensuite le blog de Xahlee, un geek orienté emacs, avec des articles sur emacs asser cools (les titres parlent d'eux-même en général) :


et une interessante revue des claviers de PC, (voir aussi l'article sur la betise des claviers dit "de hackers" ).

—Hugues, At http://huguesaujapon.blogspot.com/2010/08/dis-moi-ta-disposition-de-clavier-je-te.html

Well, there is always Emacs. It does everything that you ask for, and a lot more. The only real downside is the learning curve (C-x C-s to save, C-x C-c to exit etc), but it's a myth that learning Emacs is hard. And you don't even have to learn that much in order to use it (like with VIM), learn the basics and learn more when needed.

Also, ErgoEmacs seems to be a good place to start. I wish I could have discovered it before getting too familiar with vanilla-Emacs. Oh well.

—monotux [http://stackoverflow.com/users/285103/monotux], At http://stackoverflow.com/questions/2827125/notepad-replacement

[Do I need to know Emacs Lisp in order to use GNU/Emacs?]

No, it's not strictly necessary. You will probably write elisp, but mostly just set variables and insert the necessary snippets for any mode or package you want to use (setq, require etc). Most of that is done by copying and pasting, so no real knowledge of elisp is required.

Having said that, defining small functions can be quite useful, and learning enough Emacs Lisp for that might prove useful. Look at Xah Lee's tutorial, it's quite short and succinct.

—mhd [http://stackoverflow.com/users/39639/mhd] At http://stackoverflow.com/questions/3210135/do-i-need-to-know-emacs-lisp-in-order-to-use-gnu-emacs

The great thing about emacs for me is it can be whatever you want it to be. I think for a beginner emacsen ergomacs is a good place to start, much better than the default, just the fact that all the modes are on the file menu makes it much easier to grasp.

-Aidan McQuay http://floatsolutions.com/ At http://briancarper.net/blog/534/emacs-isnt-for-everyone

So, I took some of the code at this very very nice web site on using emacs HTML mode, and modified it, and got this: …

—Greg Laden [http://scienceblogs.com/gregladen/] , At http://scienceblogs.com/gregladen/2010/06/making_emacs_insert_a_user_pro.php

One thing to bear in mind is that all emacs configuration is programming.

http://planet.emacsen.org/atom.xml PlanetEmacsen is a good RSS feed with lots of tips.

Xah Lee although he is apparently considered a bad troll, has some great emacs programming stuff.

Also whenever there's a function or keyboard shortcut you're not sure of, try C-h f and C-h k respectively, then follow the link to the source code for that command.

For exercises, “Lair of the DustBunny” http://dustbunnylair.blogspot.com/2008/07/creating-python-mode-for-emacs-from.html did a very long series on rewriting python mode from scratch.

You could also try writing the PLEAC http://pleac.sourceforge.net/ elisp section. That's a very good way to compare elisp to your favourite language.

—Ed Singleton http://blog.singletoned.net/, At http://stackoverflow.com/questions/896648/resources-for-learning-emacs

For refactoring, I started using emacs exclusively for this and related tasks after I read this article by emacs hacker Xah Lee.

—Steen http://manniche.net/, At http://stackoverflow.com/questions/671412/code-browsing-refactoring-auto-completion-in-emacs

I've found that Xah's Elisp Tutorial is an excellent starting point in figuring out the basics of Emacs Lisp programming. There are also some SteveY articles from a while ago that go through techniques you might find useful for learning the basics.

If you're serious about making an amended Python mode, you'll do well to take a look at Writing GNU Emacs Extensions, which is available as a PDF.

Finally, the most useful resource for me is actually Emacs itself. I make frequent use of M-x apropos and M-x describe-key to figure out how built-in functions work, and whether there's something already in place to do what I want.

The specific things you want to look like they can be done through some simple use of insert, and a few search/replace functions, so that'll be a good starting point.

—Inaimathi [http://langnostic.blogspot.com/] Inaimathi, At http://stackoverflow.com/questions/2332164/emacs-set-reset-python-debug-breakpoint

Xah's Emacs Lisp Tutorial is a very nice resource to get one started on learning and using Elisp. It begins with the basics and provides both simple and more advance examples of Elisp code.

Ray Vega, At http://stackoverflow.com/questions/41522/tips-for-learning-elisp

I found a useful article that explains how one can use emacs to find replace in several files at once:


—Chris Rodgers, At http://rodgers.org.uk/archives/15

如果你浪迹过开源世界,那你不应该错过他 http://xahlee.org/ 欢迎你@xah_lee:我看过你的博客!
— vim贴士 http://www.weibo.com/u/2628187703,

向学习Emacs的同学推荐一个网站 李杀网 http://xahlee.org





— willmouse, At http://ruby-china.org/topics/2978

the Homepage of Xah Lee 李杀网虽然是第一次来到这个网站,但是总觉得这个名字似曾相识⋯⋯ 不过,纯静态页面的架构,丰富的知识,加上十年的耕耘(1996-2006),就已经让我们对于网站的主人十分佩服了。 我们自己建blog,甚至建BBS,整天忙于这样那样 …

http://kjam.org/, At http://kjam.org/2006/07/homepage-of-xah-lee-19962006.html

这份在线教程很不错哦~ http://xahlee.org/emacs/emacs.html

另外 http://translate.google.cn/

这教程作者肯定是牛人了 貌似李杀是中国人 但用英语写教程可惜我4级还没过 当然我现在基本不用翻译也可以读通了 还可以哦

—root9885, At http://hi.baidu.com/root9885/blog/item/01d1ffcbb2ce241b7f3e6f17.html



—laihj, At http://www.laihj.net/2010/01/elipsemacslisp-basi/



—Davy Zhu http://davyzhu.blogspot.com/, At http://forum.ubuntu.org.cn/viewtopic.php?f=68&t=247199


今晚在comp.lang.lisp上看到Xah Lee写的New Features in Emacs23, 写的很赞,而且我之前没注意到proced mode. 尝试了一下,还是很有用的,不用开terminal top了

—wlamos, At http://www.wlamos.com/?p=38

摘自Xah Lee的文章:http://xahlee.org/emacs/emacs_display_faq.html. Emacs默认的行距适合看代码,但是并不适合看小说、文章之类的文字,我们可以把下面的代码扔到.emacs里,. (defun toggle-line-spacing (). "Toggle line spacing between 1 and 5 …" …)

—Water Lin [http://waterapps.blogspot.com/], At http://waterapps.blogspot.com/2009/03/xah-lee-httpxahlee.html

Emacs Lisp Idioms を勉強をかねて訳しました。興味がある方はご覧ください。一部見出しレベルが異なりますが、はてなだとこれが限界みたいっす。。。

—武蔵の日記 At http://d.hatena.ne.jp/sirocco634/20090118


这是设计emacs时hacker们用的键盘。大家看一下,ctrl明显是用大拇指按的。当年rms它们用的机器好多都是symbolic的呀。 source: http://xahlee.org/emacs/emacs_kb_shortcuts_pain.html

At http://pengyou.rijiben.org/2008/2008-05-09-接近emacs_同时也保护小拇指和胳膊.html

… 这些都得意于看了xae lee写的关于这方面的文章。同一类别关于Emacs keyboarding的其他内容也相当好。

… 换个科学像样的键盘效果更好。请参看xae lee的相关文章。

可以参考这个挑键盘 http://xahlee.org/emacs/keyboards.html

—[ http://pengyou.rijiben.org/node/1724]

Some of my emacs lisp tutorial have been translated to Chinese and Japanese.

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