I have a strong like/dislike relationship with Emacs. When I like it, I like it immensely. When I dislike it, the dislike is intense.
There’s a lot to like about Emacs. There’s the easy keyboard control, the ability to pick a productive theme, and the way it highlights code as I write it. It’s not an IDE, and I don’t want it to be an IDE. But I do want more than just a simple text editor, especially when I’m working with C++, Go, or Rust.
Unfortunately, I’m set in my ways when it comes to how my code should look as I type it in. The greatest irritant to me is tab spacing in code. I expect tab spacing to work like this: four spaces, no tab characters, only spaces for tabs. Most of the time Emacs does this with aplomb. Wonderful formatting, especially in Rust and Go. Unfortunately it doesn’t always want to do this with C or especially C++. In spite of reading every document dump, every dedicated wiki, ever sub Reddit, every Medium article, every Stack Overflow post, Emacs has decided to set tab stops to two spaces, no matter how I configure those settings via init.el. I even tried to drop back to an earlier Emacs release, only to find that whatever Emacs Lisp configuration scripts had been picked up by my current Emacs release wouldn’t execute properly with an earlier release.
Since I couldn’t satisfy my frustration by actually fixing the tab space issue within Emacs, I opened up Visual Studio Code and went looking to see why it was constantly consuming processor overhead. I found the guilty plugin by turning off one plugin after another and restarting VSCode. I found the guilty plugin, a plugin I seldom use, disabled it, and I’m now back to happily writing code in VSCode again.
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