Since mid-2013 (with a brief exception in late 2014), GNU Emacs has been my main text editor. From late 2010 to mid-2013, and for over a month in late 2014, I used Vim. After using both, I have decided on Emacs.

Good things about Vim

  • It is smaller than Emacs, and can thus run well on very old hardware.
  • Its keybindings are faster, more ergonomic, and not as dependent on modifier keys.
  • It is under a less restrictive license.

Good things about Emacs

  • It is very extensible due to being written in Lisp.
  • It exposes its internals to the user. For example, C-h k describes a keybinding, and C-h v describes a function.
  • It can interact with development tools, such as compilers, debuggers, and REPLs.
  • Gnus, a flexible news/email/RSS reader
  • Org-mode, which needs no introduction
  • Calc, a surprisingly powerful calculator
  • It can even emulate vi.

Aside: This is my first blog post written in Emacs since the switch to Jekyll in early 2013.