What text editors do you prefer?

CrazedNerd

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EDIT: original title was "why would someone prefer emacs over vim?", but i've changed it to have a broader conversation about text editors.

This is not supposed to be a stupid "which one is better" question, i'm just curious about this since from a programmer's perspective, you should probably just stick to one and stay there. Vim is the most popular: in computing, this is a reason by itself, since there's always a compatibility question in terms of businesses, jobs, operating systems, etc. However, emacs seems to be fantastic if you know LISP, which is a huge subject matter that doesn't seem to have as many applications as the other programming languages do...

I've been learning emacs since it's challenging and continues to be fun, google and intuition tells me that Vim is more popular and difficult. Why do emacs users stay with emacs? And since this is not supposed to be a promotional or "win" post...why do vim users stay with Vim? I'm just a little confused since there are just so many things to learn about in terms of computers and programming. I've got a lot of web programming stuff ahead of me i want to keep exploring before learning the more exciting linux-specific stuff (command line, C, shell scripts, all 3 which i already have some understanding of from the past couple years...)...speak your mind or not at all! Thanks.
 
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smooth_buddha

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This is not supposed to be a stupid "which one is better" question, i'm just curious about this since from a programmer's perspective, you should probably just stick to one and stay there. Vim is the most popular: in computing, this is a reason by itself, since there's always a compatibility question in terms of businesses, jobs, operating systems, etc. However, emacs seems to be fantastic if you know LISP, which is a huge subject matter that doesn't seem to have as many applications as the other programming languages do...

I've been learning emacs since it's challenging and continues to be fun, google and intuition tells me that Vim is more popular and difficult. Why do emacs users stay with emacs? And since this is not supposed to be a promotional or "win" post...why do vim users stay with Vim? I'm just a little confused since there are just so many things to learn about in terms of computers and programming. I've got a lot of web programming stuff ahead of me i want to keep exploring before learning the more exciting linux-specific stuff (command line, C, shell scripts, all 3 which i already have some understanding of from the past couple years...)...speak your mind or not at all! Thanks.
for me text editors are text editors. Some like emacs are multifunctional and have email and browser also built into it and all sorts of bells and whistles but i think the best text editor for a person is the one they can get on with and use easily. Im not much of a programmer so i can get by on nano or leafpad or vim just to edit the occasionial config file here and there.
For me the major differences are the different key bindings the text editors use and even they can be customized.
When i was trying to learn some python i was using sublime and atom text editor which i really liked. I was follwoing Zed A shaws book "learn python 3 the hard way" and in that book they suggested atom or sublime so i just used that and found it really easy to get on with with line numbering and the colors for the code you write.

for the most part nano has never let me down lol
 
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CrazedNerd

CrazedNerd

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for me text editors are text editors. Some like emacs are multifunctional and have email and browser also built into it and all sorts of bells and whistles but i think the best text editor for a person is the one they can get on with and use easily. Im not much of a programmer so i can get by on nano or leafpad or vim just to edit the occasionial config file here and there.
For me the major differences are the different key bindings the text editors use and even they can be customized.
When i was trying to learn some python i was using sublime and atom text editor which i really liked. I was follwoing Zed A shaws book "learn python 3 the hard way" and in that book they suggested atom or sublime so i just used that and found it really easy to get on with with line numbering and the colors for the code you write.

for the most part nano has never let me down lol
i just tried using the emacs browser...it's really annoying compared to firefox. However, i think overall emacs shortcuts are more intuitive than vim, yet vim seems to be more advanced/powerful. Comparing how to quit the programs:

Vim:

-hold shift, : key, q, enter.

Emacs:

-Hold Ctrl, press x, press c , that's 3 steps instead of 4 to do the equivalent of clicking the X button.

...typing makes things really fast but i can see why you'd want to stay with sublime and nano...
 

smooth_buddha

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i just tried using the emacs browser...it's really annoying compared to firefox. However, i think overall emacs shortcuts are more intuitive than vim, yet vim seems to be more advanced/powerful. Comparing how to quit the programs:

Vim:

-hold shift, : key, q, enter.

Emacs:

-Hold Ctrl, press x, press c , that's 3 steps instead of 4 to do the equivalent of clicking the X button.

...typing makes things really fast but i can see why you'd want to stay with sublime and nano...
I have heard a lot of people say once the key bindings are ingrained into muscle memory then one can be very productive on emacs or vim.
Im not at that stage so usig vim or emacs is slow annoying process for me but id imagine if one sticks with it, productivity can be high

for now i will stick with leafpad and nano lol
 
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CrazedNerd

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I have heard a lot of people say once the key bindings are ingrained into muscle memory then one can be very productive on emacs or vim.
Im not at that stage so usig vim or emacs is slow annoying process for me but id imagine if one sticks with it, productivity can be high

for now i will stick with leafpad and nano lol

i don't have anything against any of them, yet i think i'm gonna switch to vim since i'm so terminal friendly...if i can get it all done through the same window, it will certainly take some time and confusion out of the process.
 

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..........

why is vi/vim a "propietary software anathema"? Seems like an odd stance for someone to take who uses wget to download all their web pages...or used to.

You'll have to ask them. I don't even pretend to understand all the intricacies of the editor wars. I do know that it has led to lost friendships and probably at least resulted in one or two geek shoving matches.

Your question is one best left unasked, unanswered, and forgotten.
 

KGIII

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Why would anyone choose a CLI text editor when there are plently of good GUI editors, one of which is gedit?

Well, for starters not all systems have a GUI option. Others appreciate the features and lack of distractions.

Others are just obstinate and want to do everything in the terminal!

I actually prefer nano for a lot of things.
 
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CrazedNerd

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Why would anyone choose a CLI text editor when there are plently of good GUI editors, one of which is gedit?

i feel that but vim is so trigger happy and powerful, i started out liking emacs here but i've been learning vim today and i can see why so many people like it. Plus, the terminal gives you quick control over your computer system in ways that GUI can't, even though GUI has its own super powers which CLI can't touch. You certainly can't use CLI for everything, and GUI itself basically means you have a smart phone.

Here's an example of why vim and emacs are used by developers. I remember on code blocks i had written a C++ text adventure game that was over 600 lines. Sometimes, for bug correction, it would take me over 10 seconds to find the spot i was working on. However, with both vim and emacs, you got this:

100j

C-u 100 C-n [control + u then 100 then control + n]

these will automatically take you a desired number of lines down into the document, and you can just as easily use the Ctrl + f type of navigation to find a particular word or piece of text. It's all just about preference...windows navigation makes things really easy when going through the directories, yet your terminal can accomplish things much faster if you remember names of documents and whatnot.
 
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rado84

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Well, for starters not all systems have a GUI option. Others appreciate the features and lack of distractions.

Others are just obstinate and want to do everything in the terminal!

I actually prefer nano for a lot of things.
I have never tried emacs or vim. Nano has one particulary annoying thing about it - it doesn't have a "delete" function. For instance when editing the mirrors list in Arch, if you wanna remove many mirrors, you select them all and then you discover there's no delete. In order to remove them, you gotta "cut" them with Ctrl+K. What kind of an editor doesn't have a delete function?!?!
 

f33dm3bits

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I have never tried emacs or vim. Nano has one particulary annoying thing about it - it doesn't have a "delete" function.
Technically vim's delete function is actually cutting because it stores the stuff you delete in registries.
 

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f33dm3bits

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Why would someone choose emacs over vim?
I never chose vim, vim chose me. Not exactly but when I was first introduced to Linux nano and vim were the first two editors I was introduced to. For a while I used nano and after I figured out the basics of vim I switched to vim only. I recently did a vim course from Udemy but I still have to work on using the functions I learned since I'm still using mostly basic functionality now. In short I stuck to vim because it did what I need from it, I heard about emacs but was never interested in try it because vim worked fine for me. I guess it has to do what your introduced to first, if it works for you and if you are curious about wanting to try something else.
 
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smooth_buddha

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Why would anyone choose a CLI text editor when there are plently of good GUI editors, one of which is gedit?
I tend to install both cli and gui apps for certain things. for example i have clamav (antivirus) which is cli app but i also have the gui version called clam tk.
also same with the uncomplicated firewall called ufw which is commmandline, but i also like gufw which is the gui version .

its nice to have gui for certain things
 

KGIII

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its nice to have gui for certain things

Absolutely. And what you do in what is a matter of personal preference, and either should be respected.

I do almost every installation in my terminal - though I'll download the installer via a GUI browser. I do all my updates and upgrades through the terminal. I never really browse in a text browser, except for once in a blue moon when I'll verify that Slashdot still works fine in like eLinks. I sometimes download stuff in the terminal. Well, I do a zsync download in the terminal twice a day, but for my own use I sometimes grab stuff with wget.

I find a blend of both, using each for its strengths works well enough for me.
 

smooth_buddha

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Absolutely. And what you do in what is a matter of personal preference, and either should be respected.

I do almost every installation in my terminal - though I'll download the installer via a GUI browser. I do all my updates and upgrades through the terminal. I never really browse in a text browser, except for once in a blue moon when I'll verify that Slashdot still works fine in like eLinks. I sometimes download stuff in the terminal. Well, I do a zsync download in the terminal twice a day, but for my own use I sometimes grab stuff with wget.

I find a blend of both, using each for its strengths works well enough for me.
I think the main power of been abe to do everything in the terminal is that it will teach you exactly what is going on with your system, giving you more control. It also makes you apprechiate the GUI for certain tasks
 
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