The best text editor is neither vim nor emacs, it’s both.
About 5 months ago, I forced myself to use a terminal based text editor all the time. I was a VSCode addict and it was too resource hungry just like its brother Google Chrome.
Despite using vim for minor projects and short single file edits, I didn’t really like the plugin ecosystem on the vim side. Especially because it requires manual configuration most of the time. Here a
nnoremap, there an
inoremap, it just gets messy. However, I really liked the modal nature of vim and the way editing really works in vim. The mnemonics are just too familiar with the way we speak. Command mode, macros, the infamous . (period), lots and lots of features that just make using it a breeze.
So, I tried emacs if it’s any worth. I instantly fell in love with
elisp and its configurable nature in a real programming language. Although I loved using the plugin system around emacs with use-package and MELPA, I missed the pros of vim and my muscle memory. 😼 evil-mode just solved this problem for me and all of my beloved vim features were back to me in an application wide format.
With any luck, I wanted to get over the other keyboard shortcut mess as well and I stumbled upon pre-configured emacs distributions doom-emacs and Spacemacs. I tried both of them and found that the latter sticks well with me and it also has larger community support. I love the layer based configuration in spacemacs so much. Do give it a try if you’re an ardent ‘vim’mer as well.
Also, a big shout out to GPU based terminal emulators like
kitty. I personally use
kitty because it’s more mature and has lots of features in comparison to the former. Get either of those and throw in
tmux and you should be just fine.
Do I really need to switch over to console-based editors?
tbqh, it’s a matter of personal preference and it is a pain in the ass to transition from GUI based editors. But if you have enough patience and time, I suggest that you force yourself to using one for a week and try to learn as much as you can about it. Just try and embrace it to the fullest.
In my case, I got rid of every other text editor on my machine and went full on with spacemacs.