Q: Why now?
A: I find I am too busy with other work to give Emacs maintenance the attention it deserves. I've been considering handing the maintainership over to others for most of a year.
Q: Are you doing this reluctantly? Or eagerly?
A: I feel nostalgia, but not very strongly.
Q: Pardon my unfamiliarity with them, but who are Stefan and Yidong?
A: Stefan Monnier and Chong Yidong are two of the main Emacs developers of recent years.
Q: What do you see as the future of Emacs?
A: I would like to see it extended to operate as a word processor, editing formatted text.
Q: 32 years is a long time to devote to anything. Any parting thoughts?
A: I have not spent 32 years working on Emacs, and I'm not quite "parting."
Since I first wrote GNU Emacs in 1984, I have not been the maintainer all the time. In fact, three other people have been the maintainer of GNU Emacs at various times. Gerd Moellman was the Maintainer for about 4 years, until a while after the release of Emacs 21. During that time he implemented display of variable-width text. He decided to stop, so I took up the maintainership again.