are text editors like vim and emacs still worth learning compared to I

  • (2 Pages)
  • +
  • 1
  • 2

22 Replies - 15975 Views - Last Post: 27 May 2010 - 12:42 PM

#1 crazyjugglerdrummer  Icon User is offline

  • GAME OVER. NERD WINS.
  • member icon

Reputation: 119
  • View blog
  • Posts: 690
  • Joined: 07-January 09

are text editors like vim and emacs still worth learning compared to I

Posted 08 May 2010 - 09:49 AM

First things first: I've never really used anything other than an IDE for programming text editing (Eclipse or visual studio usually). My question is, are text editors worth learning and using compared to more powerful IDE's? Should I learn how to use editors like vim, emacs, notepad++, etcetera,, etcetera? Do they offer any features IDE's don't?

related: Console Or IDE?

Is This A Good Question/Topic? 0
  • +

Replies To: are text editors like vim and emacs still worth learning compared to I

#2 programble  Icon User is offline

  • (cons :dic :head)

Reputation: 49
  • View blog
  • Posts: 1,315
  • Joined: 21-February 09

Re: are text editors like vim and emacs still worth learning compared to I

Posted 08 May 2010 - 11:26 AM

Emacs is an IDE.

Correction: Emacs is an everything.
Was This Post Helpful? 0
  • +
  • -

#3 Oler1s  Icon User is offline

  • D.I.C Lover
  • member icon

Reputation: 1395
  • View blog
  • Posts: 3,884
  • Joined: 04-June 09

Re: are text editors like vim and emacs still worth learning compared to I

Posted 08 May 2010 - 04:06 PM

Quote

My question is, are text editors worth learning and using compared to more powerful IDE's
They solve a certain problem. Often programmers need to edit files that are best treated as plain text, or files in a language that is not supported by the IDE. Sometimes, it's for quick edits.

A dedicated editor, as opposed to an IDE, is faster to load up. (I'm not classifying Emacs as a dedicated editor given what Emacs actually is). For example, when I check people's C++ code here, I just use a plain text editor and the console to compile programs. Why don't I fire up Visual Studio? By the time I fire up VS and set up the project + solution, etc. I could have already compiled and discovered the error.

Sometimes, I need to work with data files (of text). I have a program that reads these data files and acts upon the information. A dedicated text editor serves me best here.

One time, I was dealing with files that had been "corrupted" because of *NIX and Windows line ending mangling. Basically, end of lines had a mess of both line endings, tacked on by poorly written programs. I needed to fix this file. So I used Vim to open up this file, highlight the mess of line endings, and replace them properly. Would not have been possible in, say, Eclipse.

Yet another example is writing programs in a language that has no suitable IDE. So I just stick to text editor and command line work, since that's the usual idiom with that language.

Don't head out and pick programs for the sake of picking new software. If you ever need something, you'll naturally look for it. If you're happy with Eclipse + Visual Studio, and nothing more, then great. But I'm betting at some point, you'll say to yourself: you need a dedicated plain text editor, and Notepad is not a good option. And you'll look for one.
Was This Post Helpful? 1
  • +
  • -

#4 Basher91  Icon User is offline

  • New D.I.C Head

Reputation: 0
  • View blog
  • Posts: 21
  • Joined: 05-May 10

Re: are text editors like vim and emacs still worth learning compared to I

Posted 08 May 2010 - 07:26 PM

View Postprogramble, on 08 May 2010 - 10:26 AM, said:

Emacs is an IDE.

Correction: Emacs is an everything.


I thought the definition of Emacs was "A desktop environment lacking a good text editor", just kidding. Vim is a great one to check out if you're running linux and want a plain editor, because it is installed on nearly all linux distros automatically and plenty of other programs use vim's shortcuts. But I personally agree with Oler1s that don't just go picking out the software to have new software.
Was This Post Helpful? 0
  • +
  • -

#5 Raynes  Icon User is offline

  • D.I.C Lover
  • member icon

Reputation: 611
  • View blog
  • Posts: 2,815
  • Joined: 05-January 09

Re: are text editors like vim and emacs still worth learning compared to I

Posted 08 May 2010 - 10:04 PM

Absolutely. And no, your IDE is not more powerful than Emacs (or Vim, I'd venture a guess). Just because your IDE takes more resources and has a bunch of pretty buttons doesn't mean it's more powerful than a something like Emacs. :P

I use Emacs for all my coding, and there is no better Lisp IDE/editor. Lispers tend to favor Emacs over Emacs over Vim because it's mostly written in a Lisp dialect created specifically for Emacs (elisp). You can write (dead simple) elisp code to extend Emacs to do anything.

You can quite literally make Emacs do anything you want, exactly how you want. You can even emulate Vim in Emacs. Emacs is more than just an editor or an IDE. If you learn to use Emacs, you'll have a cross-platform editor that you can use for every single language you write code in. You wont be limited to several IDEs with different keybindings and such.

You can use Emacs for more than just editing as well. It's a file browser, a remote file editor, tetris (yarly), email client, newsgroup reader, etc. I'm even writing a book using Emacs, nXML-mode, and docbook.

If you spend a good bit of time and get very very proficient in Emacs or Vim (I'm biased towards Emacs, I'm a Lisper), you'll probably work a lot faster than you do in your IDEs, and I bet you will enjoy it a lot more as well.

One last thing: I'm not trying to downplay IDEs. If they work for you, that's great, but I still like to encourage people to learn an editor like Emacs, because it will benefit them in the long run, and after a while, they might just find that they work better in it.

This post has been edited by Raynes: 08 May 2010 - 10:28 PM

Was This Post Helpful? 0
  • +
  • -

#6 no2pencil  Icon User is online

  • Toubabo Koomi
  • member icon

Reputation: 5191
  • View blog
  • Posts: 26,897
  • Joined: 10-May 07

Re: are text editors like vim and emacs still worth learning compared to I

Posted 08 May 2010 - 11:13 PM

The one argument I would make for learning vi (or vim) is that it's guaranteed to be on any Linux or Unix computer you connect to. Why is that important? Well, if you are working for a client that has a low end, decade old server, & you need to connect to it remotely, & the server failed at startup &/or you can't get to a graphical entry point, but you know what needs changed, guess what, you gotta use a text based editor remotely. Hrm, which editor comes to mind? Sure, you check for your favorites, but you know that server has got vi on it.
Was This Post Helpful? 0
  • +
  • -

#7 Raynes  Icon User is offline

  • D.I.C Lover
  • member icon

Reputation: 611
  • View blog
  • Posts: 2,815
  • Joined: 05-January 09

Re: are text editors like vim and emacs still worth learning compared to I

Posted 08 May 2010 - 11:44 PM

I agree with no2pencil even though I recommend Emacs over Vim for generally everything ;). They aren't nearly as hard to learn as people tend to make them out to be. You can manage basic editing with it in a day. You can get proficient in both of them, but prefer one over the other, but still have them both in your arsenal.
Was This Post Helpful? 0
  • +
  • -

#8 no2pencil  Icon User is online

  • Toubabo Koomi
  • member icon

Reputation: 5191
  • View blog
  • Posts: 26,897
  • Joined: 10-May 07

Re: are text editors like vim and emacs still worth learning compared to I

Posted 08 May 2010 - 11:52 PM

I think the 1st text editor that I used was pico. Twas garbage. I've never used emacs, so I refuse to join in the emacs vs vi flame war :)
Was This Post Helpful? 0
  • +
  • -

#9 SpeedisaVirus  Icon User is offline

  • Baller
  • member icon

Reputation: 114
  • View blog
  • Posts: 855
  • Joined: 06-October 08

Re: are text editors like vim and emacs still worth learning compared to I

Posted 14 May 2010 - 07:37 AM

Emacs ftw. It's everything that the big bad IDE is if you want it to be. It really does do everything. Tends to have a bit of a learning curve though. I like emacs but of course there are just as many that choose vim over it. Those key combos can really grow on you. Worth learning a text editor? Yup. Won't aways have your fancy Eclipse/Netbeans/VS/etc.
Was This Post Helpful? 1
  • +
  • -

#10 moopet  Icon User is offline

  • binary decision maker
  • member icon

Reputation: 339
  • View blog
  • Posts: 1,185
  • Joined: 02-April 09

Re: are text editors like vim and emacs still worth learning compared to I

Posted 20 May 2010 - 12:53 PM

vim is worth learning if you want to:

edit on pretty much any system anywhere
navigate the web entirely without moving the palms of your hands (vimperator)
edit files over a slow network connection
impress the hell out of anyone watching over your shoulder with how you 1337 them into the fricking *ground*.

emacs is worth learning if you want to:
play tetris
emulate vim
basically just use a text editor that's available in quite a few places.


Actually, learning vim was about the best thing I ever did in terms of computing. Netbeans is great, sure, but nothing impresses your boss like text consoles. And guess what? Netbeans has a vi plugin. After you've played around for a while (it'll take a couple of weeks probably) you can do things much more efficiently than in a normal IDE or text editor. Check out some tutorials or screencasts and see what other people do and make up your mind then :)
Was This Post Helpful? 0
  • +
  • -

#11 moopet  Icon User is offline

  • binary decision maker
  • member icon

Reputation: 339
  • View blog
  • Posts: 1,185
  • Joined: 02-April 09

Re: are text editors like vim and emacs still worth learning compared to I

Posted 20 May 2010 - 01:13 PM

http://www.youtube.c...feature=related
Was This Post Helpful? 0
  • +
  • -

#12 Raynes  Icon User is offline

  • D.I.C Lover
  • member icon

Reputation: 611
  • View blog
  • Posts: 2,815
  • Joined: 05-January 09

Re: are text editors like vim and emacs still worth learning compared to I

Posted 20 May 2010 - 02:05 PM

View Postmoopet, on 20 May 2010 - 11:53 AM, said:

vim is worth learning if you want to:

edit on pretty much any system anywhere
navigate the web entirely without moving the palms of your hands (vimperator)
edit files over a slow network connection
impress the hell out of anyone watching over your shoulder with how you 1337 them into the fricking *ground*.

emacs is worth learning if you want to:
play tetris
emulate vim
basically just use a text editor that's available in quite a few places.


Actually, learning vim was about the best thing I ever did in terms of computing. Netbeans is great, sure, but nothing impresses your boss like text consoles. And guess what? Netbeans has a vi plugin. After you've played around for a while (it'll take a couple of weeks probably) you can do things much more efficiently than in a normal IDE or text editor. Check out some tutorials or screencasts and see what other people do and make up your mind then :)


Everything but the first thing you mentioned (which is a very good point, by the way) applies to Emacs as well. The second one is the most amusing, because there is actually an Emacs-based web browser, and there is also Conkeror (which is very cool). The third one is provided by tramp-mode, included with Emacs, and the forth one is supplied by the fact that it's Emacs and can do everything.

So, despite the biased comments above, Emacs is worth learning if you want:
A text editor that is essentially an operating system within itself. Like I mentioned above with my comment about the Emacs web browser, there are all sorts of cool stuff in Emacs. You can have terminals open within Emacs, IRC clients exist for it, it's configured in a dead-simple and concise dialect of Lisp, in which most of the editor is written, allowing you to extend Emacs to do virtually anything.
<insert something you want here>

Trust me, I indeed recognize the power of Vim, and I think it's an amazing text editor (I've actually used it before). But please, just because you like Vim and may not like Emacs (because you hate the ctrl key, not being installed by default on most systems, or because it's like 1 meg in size) doesn't mean you should downplay what a great editor it is.

Vim is more than just a text editor. Emacs is more than just more than a text editor. They're both still text editors, and they're both great at what they do.
Was This Post Helpful? 0
  • +
  • -

#13 moopet  Icon User is offline

  • binary decision maker
  • member icon

Reputation: 339
  • View blog
  • Posts: 1,185
  • Joined: 02-April 09

Re: are text editors like vim and emacs still worth learning compared to I

Posted 20 May 2010 - 04:39 PM

View PostRaynes, on 20 May 2010 - 08:05 PM, said:

Trust me, I indeed recognize the power of Vim, and I think it's an amazing text editor (I've actually used it before). But please, just because you like Vim and may not like Emacs (because you hate the ctrl key, not being installed by default on most systems, or because it's like 1 meg in size) doesn't mean you should downplay what a great editor it is.

Vim is more than just a text editor. Emacs is more than just more than a text editor. They're both still text editors, and they're both great at what they do.

I'm actually not trying to have a go at emacs. I've never really used it beyond the basics; I'm just being silly for the sake of it.
But I do have my religion set to "vim" on facebook. That's serious business.
Was This Post Helpful? 0
  • +
  • -

#14 Raynes  Icon User is offline

  • D.I.C Lover
  • member icon

Reputation: 611
  • View blog
  • Posts: 2,815
  • Joined: 05-January 09

Re: are text editors like vim and emacs still worth learning compared to I

Posted 21 May 2010 - 08:27 AM

Srsly.
Was This Post Helpful? 0
  • +
  • -

#15 Sergio Tapia  Icon User is offline

  • D.I.C Lover
  • member icon

Reputation: 1252
  • View blog
  • Posts: 4,168
  • Joined: 27-January 10

Re: are text editors like vim and emacs still worth learning compared to I

Posted 21 May 2010 - 09:22 AM

I've never in my life used Emacs or Vim.

Am I correct in the assumption that it gives you a productivity boost when typing code?

For example, most people don't know this simple keyboard shortcut to select a complete line of text. Press the <End> key, then press <Shift>+<Home> to select the entire line. It saves you a lot of time when you are editing text and most people just use the mouse. Probably a measly 3 seconds time gain.

Is this the benefit you get from Vim/Emacs?
Was This Post Helpful? 0
  • +
  • -

  • (2 Pages)
  • +
  • 1
  • 2