Famous Emacs Users (that are not famous for using Emacs)

I don’t think using Emacs could make a better programmer, nor do I think that having a couple of relatively famous middle or old aged people using (or previously using) Emacs could prove that Emacs has some unique power.

However, when I started, there were a few Emacs users that I have high respect for, which is one of the reasons that made me continue to play with Emacs. Here I have created a list of famous Emacs users and hope it will (mis)guide newbies.

This list will be updated occasionally (the latest updates will be on the top) and revision is highly welcomed.

Marijn Haverbeke – the author of Eloquent JavaScript and CodeMirror

marijn.jpg
Note: this picture is from full-frontal.org

Jeffrey Friedl – the author of Mastering Regular Expressions

jeffrey-friedl.jpg
Note: this picture is from www.lightroomsecrets.com

Michael Widenius – the author of MySQL and MariaDB

wpid-monty-widenius.jpg
Note: this picture is from www.computerweekly.com

Joe Armstrong – the creator of Erlang

wpid-joe-armstrong.jpg
Note: this picture is from http://www.computerworld.com.au

  • In The Setup, Joe mentioned: “I write books using XML markup in emacs (nxml mode)” and “I write code in Emacs”
  • His page on Wikipedia
  • Thanks to 周冲zxc for providing information.

Amelia Andersdotter – Politician

amelia.jpg
Note: this picture is from Wikipedia

Steven Brust – the author of Vlad Taltos

steven-brust.jpeg
Note: this picture is from http://allaboutcorwin.com

Vernor Vinge – the author of True Names and A Fire Upon the Deep, Hugo Award winner

vernor-vinge.jpg
Note: this picture is from http://www.quotezuki.com

Whitfield Diffie – security expert (Diffie-Hellman key exchange)

diffie.png
Note: this picture is from Wikipedia

  • jf on Hacker News mentioned: “Whitfield Diffie is also an Emacs user. I once sat behind him at an awards ceremony and was able to observe him hacking on Emacs lisp during the event.”
  • His page on Wikipedia
  • Note: I couldn’t find any direct evidence to prove that Diffie is an Emacs user

Marc Andreessen – the creator of the Mosaic browser and the founder of Netscape

marc.jpg
Note this picture is from www.forbes.com, Marc obviously had more hair when he was younger

Richard Gabriel – the author of Worse is Better

richard-gabriel.jpg
Note: this picture is from www.dreamsongs.com

  • Gabriel is the founder of Lucid Emacs, see his WikiPage for more details.

Guy Steele – an expert of programming languages, the author of C: A Reference Manual

guy-steele.jpg
Note: this picture is from https://thestrangeloop.com

Peter Norvig – the author of Artificial Intelligence: A Modern Approach

peter-norvig.jpg
Note: this picture is from http://www.inside.com.tw

  • In this Q&A, Norvig mentioned: “I dislike all three major OS – Windows, Mac, Linux. I like Python and Lisp. Emacs.”
  • His page on Wikipedia
  • Thanks to TheWaWaR for providing information

Jamie Zawinski – an important programmer of the Mozilla project team

jamie-zawinski.jpg
Note: this picture is from http://www.quotezuki.com

Daniel Weinreb – cofounder of Symbolics

daniel-weinreb.jpg
Note: this picture is from Twitter

Julian Assange – the founder of WikiLeaks

julian-assange.jpg
Note: this picture is from Wikipedia

Martin Fowler – coauthor of Refactoring: Improving the Design of Existing Code

martin-fowler.jpg
Note: this picture is from http://martinfowler.com/

  • In an article on his blog Internal Reprogrammability , Martin mentioned that he is an Emacs user
  • His page on Wikipedia
  • Thanks to RomeaWong for providing information

Mark Zuckerberg – Facebook founder

mark-zuckerberg.jpg
Note: this picture is from Wikipedia

  • In the movie Social Network, Mark’s actor was editing PHP and Perl in Emacs, for example:
    mark-uses-emacs-from-quora.png
    Note: this picture is from Quora
  • In one of Mark’s early blogs, he mentioned “it’s definitely necessary to break out emacs and modify that perl script”, this line was also used in the movie’s script.
  • His page on Wikipedia

Yukihiro Matsumoto – the creator of Ruby

matz.jpg
Note: this picture is from http://www.techcn.com.cn/index.php?doc-view-131413.html

Guido van Rossum – the creator of Python

guido.jpg
Note: this picture is from Wikipedia

Linus Torvalds – the creator of Linux and Git

linus.png
Note: this picture is from http://www.wired.com/wiredenterprise/2012/06/torvalds-nvidia-linux/

Donald Knuth – the creator of TeX and the author of TAOCP, Turing Award winner

donald-knuth.jpg
Note: this picture is from Wikipedia

Eric Raymond – the author of The Cathedral and the Bazaar and How to become a hacker

esr.jpg
Note: this picture is from Wikipedia

Richard Stallman – the creator of GNU Emacs, the founder of GNU

rms.png
Note: this picture is from http://www.zeuux.com/group/richardstallman/photo/content/5820/

Note: English is not my first language, so please feel free to point out any mistakes you might find.


37 thoughts on “Famous Emacs Users (that are not famous for using Emacs)

  1. yannanth

    Linus hates GNU Emacs, not all Emacsen… otherwise, why would he maintain his own fork of the venerable editor? :P

    To the author: ‘uemacs’ is actually ‘microemacs’ (from the Greek letter μ, or mu, which looks a lot like ‘u’), which has a long history (Torvalds didn’t write it).

  2. Jisang Yoo

    Also, Amelia Andersdotter, a politician

    One paragraph from http://www.networkworld.com/community/blog/pirate-party-andersdotter :

    ( When Andersdotter was young, she became familiar with open source technology because she wanted to be a mathematician and to learn the TeX typesetting system. “A friend who was much older than me told me that I would need Emacs to write TeX,” she explains. “I didn’t know that it wasn’t true, so I learned how to use Emacs. It’s almost 10 years later now, and I’m not a mathematician nor am I particularly good with TeX, but I do still use Emacs and org-mode.” )

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  4. M. Edward Borasky (@znmeb)

    Long ago, I wanted to switch from some bizarre Dec VAX editor to Emacs. I typed “emacs” at the command prompt and got a message that it wasn’t installed.

    I went to the system administrator and asked him to install Emacs. He told me they had to remove it because it was a memory hog and that I should use ‘vi’ instead. So I never learned Emacs and I’m a vi(m) user to this day. But then, I’m not famous. ;-)

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  10. K G

    A couple more emacs users – Martin Odersky [static-typing fanatic, JVM geek], Rich Hickey [created/designed Clojure].

    On a related note –
    What was Sun Microsystem during Java’s early days :
    Guy Steele, James Gosling, Bill Joy [created vi] — all were part of Java Language spec.
    Did they trash-talk about emacs/vi?