Earlier in this chapter we asserted that
Emacs can give you capabilities resembling
those of a conventional integrated development environment, only
better. By now you should have enough facts in hand to see how that
can be true. You can run entire development projects from inside
Emacs, driving the low-level mechanics with
a few keystrokes and saving yourself the mental effort and disruption
of constantly switching contexts.
The Emacs-enabled development style
trades away some capabilities of advanced IDEs, like graphical views
of program structure. But those are frills. What
Emacs gives you in return is flexibility
and control. You're not limited by the imagination of the IDE designer:
you can tweak, customize, and add task-related intelligence
using Emacs Lisp. Also, Emacs is better at
supporting mixed-language development than conventional IDEs.
Finally, you're not limited to accepting what one small group of
IDE developers sees fit to support. By keeping an eye on the
open-source community, you can benefit from the work of thousands of your
peers, Emacs-using developers facing
challenges much like yours. This is much more effective — and
much more fun.