Disclaimer: Hi guys, I will not start a Religion wars between Emacs and Vim. For a copule of reason:
- I have been an Emacs fan for about ten years, then I get a depression because of emacs-lisp complicated interface and slow emacs evolution
- I have worked on pymacs a bit, so I am somewhat a Emacs contributor
- I am still searching a good general purpose editor. On my day by day job, eclispe is my food.
So I was accustomed to emacs from the University. Now I decided to give a try to vim, mostly because I need
- a editor working on slow connection
- a fast startup editor
- some time to be masochistic. Some guys smoke, others use vim. It perfectlys fit in your auto-destruction instinct.
In Software world changing editor is the same to change your religion :)
I was happy with vim for this reason:
- The documentation is a little better then emacs: it is simpler to read and has a bit more example. Generally speaking, documentation is quite compact and very accurate.
- It is quite simple to program vim: the scripting language is functional oriented, strictly typed and easy. EmacsLisp is cool but too complex for casual user.
- Plugin mechanics is clean and fair.
- Languages like Perl, Python and Ruby are supported in a simpler way then Emacs. Emacs has emacs-lisp and no simple backend.
- GVim server activation is a bit simpler them the emacs server.
Anyway the disavantages are:
- Symbol convention is a good thing but criptic. ! * and so on are nice character, but makes no sense if you actually do not understand the cryptic “Vim symbolic religion”.
- vi seems written by a piano-programmer who failed to get into a good Music School. The Command and Visual Mode are a bad thing if usability is a concern. Try to open a document inside vim and write your name: you will likely destroy your document if your name do not start with an “i” letter.
- Even if Gvim exists, the Gui mode is poor, like the XEmacs one