Dave's Not Here

Editor Wars: The Unending Delima

by on Jan.27, 2015, under Dave's Rants

Vim vs Emacs

Just kidding! But I will share the best response I’ve ever heard to the vi vs emacs debates: “Vi is an amazingly powerful text editor. Emacs is a powerful programming environment, that happens to edit text files”

But I digress. I am adept at both vi and emacs. But, I prefer the auto-indenting, ease of window creation and movement, and flow of emacs. *_But_* — there are huge issues with emacs:
1. I have to carry around a .emacs everywhere.
2. I’m sick (and tired) of hitting CTRL-S to search, and screwing up ALL windows applications.
3. I’m enough of a dinosaur already.

Dinosaur Avoidance – Picking a new editor

Are there any new good editors out there? I mean, I was in love with Brief / Slickedit for the longest time . . . but, again: dinosaur. A guy at my office uses Sublime Text, and mocked my emacs. While I won on geek cred — was there anything to the Sublime thing?

So, before I started looking for an editor, I needed my requirements. And, I have many.

### Requirements for Dave’s Editor

In no particular order:

* OS Independent – I drive Windows because I have to. But, I’m constantly opening sessions into linux boxes. And, I do have a Mac at home too.
* Open Plugin System – toys are good to have.
* Good dark color theme.
* Notes / Todo package – The biggest reason I keep coming back to emacs is [org-mode](http://orgmode.org/). I need a way to take quick notes, and keep track of todos. It needs to be text based, but have helper keystrokes to rotate through tasks / etc.

And, some nice to haves:
* Free – Preferably (or at least cheap)
* Keybindings that work with “normal” stuff. (i.e. Ctrl-F to search, Ctrl-x/v/c to cut, paste, and copy)
* Console mode for when ssh’ed into a box
* Key bindings for everything, so I don’t have to grab the mouse.

### The Roundup

One of the things I like best about google are the two letters “vs”. So many people ask X vs Y, that when you type “foo vs” in google, you get all the known alternatives in the universe. So, after googling a bit, I came up with two contenders for editors:

* Sublime Text 3 – http://sublimetext.com/3
* Google’s Atom – http://atom.io/

Both were pluggable. Both were pretty. Here’s what I can remember about them.
Criteria , Atom , Sublime Text 3 , Winner / Notes
Speed , A bit slow to come up , Pops up instantly when loaded ,
Plugin System , Yes , Yes , “Sublime has been around longer, so it has more packages. Plugins are also in python, which is a plus.”
Good Color Themes , Yes , Yes ,
Free , Yes , No , “At first, I thought sublime was free. It nags, but is fully functional. They want $70”
org-mode Replacement , Unknown , PlainTasks , “Honestly, at this point, I had already decided on Sublime Text 3, so stopped looking at atom.io”


I’m now using Sublime Text 3. I love it. I even found a way to synchronize my settings across my different boxes using Dropbox. [Package Syncing](https://github.com/csch0/SublimeText-Package-Syncing) works great for me.

I’ll keep you posted if I find any other issues. . . . or if I move to atom.io as it gains maturity.

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