Vim vs Emacs

I’m a MacVim user and have never used Emacs - but for those of you who have, how do they compare?

A huge benefit of Vim imo, is that it’s generally on all servers so less jarring when you have to edit files on the server and then back in dev. But if Emacs is worth jumping to I’d consider it…

I used Emacs for long time before RSI forced me to Vim (which I now adore).

For just text editing, they are very different experiences. I find the Vim modal editing more pleasant, or, at least, less painful.

When I used Emacs, it really was my operating system. I hear that said in a disparaging way, but this was very valuable to me when I was working on windows machines. Code editing, irc, email, eshell… I did pretty much everything though Emacs.

You might find spacemacs interesting. It is the most recent attempt to combine Emacs power as a platform with Vim editing semantics. It’s really very good.

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I’m a long time emacs users (since 1985), so I basically grew up with it. My coworker has been trying to get into it for years and is finally able to do it. In helping him, I realize there is an unwritten culture that the new mastering emacs book, is probably the only one that tries to convey it. Else you get it or not. Ultimately, emacs is more powerful, and I will someday do a screen cast that shows how on OSX (and to a large extent linux), you can take the core dozen or so emacs navigation commands and use them everywhere, command line tools, any OSX text widget (outlook, browser textarea, browser url/search line, outlook, etc…). It seems the primary advantage for many people is vi/vim’s modal editing, which emacs actually has several emulation modes, of which evil is the most popular.

Food for thought for you, the vim user

  • The best tooling for elixir is currently in emacs, but spacemacs (an evil based emacs setup) is winning over a lot of vim users since they have modal editing and the “everything else that emacs can do”
  • I’m an emacs guy, so I have bias, better to get the words from other (I believe) vim users
  • other emacs modules that have reputations for getting vim users wanting switch are magit and org-mode, so that should be a good things to look into
  • I would advise the mastering emacs book as something useful. Whether you keep vim bindings or not is up in the air. Some modes don’t work well w/evil bindings. If you don’t go spacemacs, I use bbatsov’s prelude with minor customizations, after years of mucking w/it myself, I’ve outsourced to him

For the record Bodil is a long time emacs user and advocate (GitHub - bodil/ohai-emacs: The finest hand crafted artisanal emacs.d for your editing pleasure) :smile:

Spacemacs is really nice. I even contributed a some configuration layers for it, but it felt a little sluggish to me, compared to Vim. Also, evil doesn’t have ports of many plugins I use…

Also, neovim is coming along nicely…

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I stand corrected

Ashton, if you’re interested, there’s a bunch of useful blog posts of vim-ers who have switched to spaecemacs and why, seems like currently the best route for someone who would like to do such a thing.

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Have you got any links @fkchang2000? I’ll have to try it out at some point just cos I’m curious haha

Try these, no particular order, lots of info that might help you

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Thanks Forrest :slight_smile: (It’s Aston btw, no ‘h’ ;P)