It‘s been awhile since my last post and many things happened. We traveled a lot and I had not enough time to keep up with being productive in my day-to-day job, sight seeing and also update every bits of my digital existence. Eventually, I found the time to write about my now discovery. A discovery I made years ago, but didn’t gave it the attention I should have. I rediscovered Emacs. I was a vim user for years. I loved and still do so many things about it. Starting with the simple fact that vim is just there. I can’t think about any distro I used in the past several years where vim was not part of or shipped with. It’s start-up time is still unbeatable relative to the complex stuff you can do with it. And you can do tons.
And now I start to fell in love with Emacs.
Emacs comes with a view killer features which I really start to like so much, that I prefer it over vim as my main editor.
It has a package manager built in
Yes, one can argue that most distros ship plug-in managers for the vim packages, too. And even if they don’t, it is not that hard to set up a plug-in manager like pathogen, voundle or vim-plug. But with Emacs I don’t have to. Period. More info about installing packages can be found here.
If you ever tried to hack something in the core of a plug-in you use or even were brave enough to try to dig into vim code itself to understand something, you know how hard it can be. And then there is Elisp. One can learn the basics in two days and be able to just do things.
Buzz-Word-Alarm: Emacs, the self-documenting editor. And it’s unbelievable how good it is when it comes do documentation.
Ease (not really a feature)
Yes, it is relatively easy. If you get the grasp about the basics, you can extend functionality really quick and easy.
Set it up
What I can do with Emacs is something I missed so hard in vim. One can do it, but it is so much more complicated. One can store the dot-file(s) with all the configuration at some place. If you setup a new system, you install Emacs. Right after that, you copy your dot-file(s) to the location Emacs expects them and just fire Emacs up. You can see how Emacs will get all those packages, install all of them, configure all the stuff and eventually is ready for you in a short amount of time. And the best thing: You don’t have to do anything, just wait and watch.
One can fire up a shell within Emacs, start the compilation of a project and then just get back to coding while watching lines fly up the screen in a separate buffer. You’ll be able to do that in vim somewhere in the near future I got told. But in Emacs I can have this useful feature right now.
I’ll stick with vim. It’s installed anyway and for quick edits on a remote machine it is over the top to install a whole Emacs setup. But for my main development machines I’ll go with Emacs in the future.