back to article Emacs and Vim both release first new updates in years

The first major Emacs update in four years landed over the weekend, a few days after Vim had its first big release in a decade. One major improvement to the 40-year-old Emacs is a configuration option to load dynamic modules at launch, for functions developers need but which Emacs doesn't yet support. Mastering Emacs author …

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So neither...

is quite ready as a stand alone OS yet? ☺

Maybe next version.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: So neither...

Wait till MS uses systemd.

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Re: So neither...

Is that like waiting until the Greeks reckon time by the Calends?

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Coat

Re: So neither...

is quite ready as a stand alone OS yet?

Emacs is getting close, it has a web browser now, just needs a text editor.

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Happy

"Emacs is getting close, it has a web browser now, just needs a text editor."

Boom boom.

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Re: So neither...

It's not a stand-alone OS, no ... but I use vim as my shell when I'm writing more than a paragraph or two. Started doing this back when RAM was scarce and running a shell just to run vi seemed wasteful. Still seems wasteful, come to think of it ;-)

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Re: So neither...

vi as your shell, The first Unix admin I worked for back in the days of Ultrix 1.0 used to do this since the editing in csh was slightly limiting and with a vi session it's so easy to scroll back through all your previous commands and their output.

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Re: So neither...

"is quite ready as a stand alone OS yet?"

I'm waiting for systemd and Emacs to come to blows as each tries to take over the other.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: So neither...

>vi as your shell

Can always tell somebody that realizes UNIX != bash always, by the set -o vi in .profile.

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This post has been deleted by its author

Anonymous Coward

Re: So neither...

>Wait till MS uses systemd.

Son, Microsoft was svchost.exe'ing long before systemd crawled out of Poettering's ass crack and started gobbling up processes. Red Hat is Microsoft from the late 90s reborn.

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Re: So neither...

It seems the new Emacs incorporates a relational database and security monitoring/alerting system. (Apparently also has functions for editing text files.)

Not a standalone OS yet though... still need to add a kernel.

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Coat

So no CUA mode yet?

Well, maybe next time.

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Not true CUA, no.

But both Vim and EMACS running on a GUI are close enough that most people who have used a CUA to edit text can jump right in and do useful work. Before you poo-poo this, consider that most people use their mouse a LOT when writing/editing documents.

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Re: Not true CUA, no.

Emacs has had a cua mode for a lot of years.

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Re: Not true CUA, no.

"most people use their mouse a LOT when writing/editing documents."

Other people, even with GUI editors, use keyboard shortcuts.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Not true CUA, no.

>"most people use their mouse a LOT when writing/editing documents."

Yeah not sure if its worth the time for say someone under 20 to learn vi these days but if you have put the time in and developed the muscle memory you will find yourself able to create and edit simple text files much much faster with vi than gedit or the equivalent. Plus you will be able to effectively edit text/config files on every POSIX system since Reagan was president.

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Just wondering

"... so a dev can browse the Internet from inside an editor window."

Is this actually useful in practical ways? I'm not a 'dev' or anywhere near being one so I don't know how they work.

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Re: Just wondering

Useful in day-to-day life? No. Useful from a "I wonder if ..." perspective? Absolutely. Unfortunately, EMACS is full of of these purely "because we can" toys. Personally, I think EMACS should change it's name to EGACS ... Eight Gigs And Constantly Swapping ;-)

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Re: Just wondering

8G?, nowhere close. The emacs instance on my machine has been running for a while (yes I hibernate my machine when not using it)

$ ps -eo pid,comm,lstart,time | grep emacs

7525 emacs Wed Aug 31 15:23:07 2016 15:16:03

$ awk '/Rss:/{ sum += $2 } END { print sum }' /proc/7525/smaps

40228 (kb)

$ awk '/Pss:/{ sum += $2 } END { print sum }' /proc/7525/smaps

28053 (kb)

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Re: Just wondering

This would allow the use of a web browser, for example, as to view documentation. At the moment, Emacs has an embedded hypertext viewer for a format called Info which works but is old.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Just wondering

Personally, I think EMACS should change it's name to EGACS ... Eight Gigs And Constantly Swapping ;-)

I have the same beef with Thunderbird, which likes to chew at least 6GB of my 8GB RAM. Perhaps "Exhausted the Memory Available, Constantly Swapping" should be the new name?

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Re: Just wondering

>40228 (kb)

>28053 (kb)

For a terminal text editor lol (hint: more used to seeing those kind of numbers on an entire DE). Well then Busybox has no reason not to implement the full feature set.

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Re: Just wondering

> For a terminal text editor

No, gtk+ version and one of those numbers is a weighted average of memory shared with other processes.

Plus not used as just a text editor, a lot of that memory is holding data relevant to tasks I'm doing, and I use it for a lot.

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Re: Just wondering

M-x emacs-uptime

M-x memory-usage

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Re: Just wondering

Emacs is an entire DE. It's a DE that can run in a terminal window.

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Anonymous Coward

gvim v8.0 with gtk3, not terribly stable.

Seeing lots of messages like the following:

(gvim:4090): Gtk-WARNING **: GtkNotebook 0x556a127ab1d0 is mapped but visible child GtkEventBox 0x556a12a09170 is not mapped

(gvim:4090): Gtk-WARNING **: GtkNotebook 0x556a127ab1d0 is mapped but visible child GtkEventBox 0x556a12a09170 is not mapped

BadMatch (invalid parameter attributes)

Vim: Got X error

Vim: Finished.

I'm trying it with gtk2 to see if that's better. Edit: Well, the warning messages are gone now.

Shame, because the gtk3 version did look a little nicer and gave me that teeny bit more screen real-estate. (Hey, at 1366×768, every pixel counts!)

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Anonymous Coward

Re: gvim v8.0 with gtk3, not terribly stable.

Guess I am too old but seeing gtk error and warnings in the same context as vim is very jarring. Like tits on a bull. Get rid of gvim and learn not to fear the CLI. If you must have a gtk text editor I find Geany to be the swiss army knife in that context.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: gvim v8.0 with gtk3, not terribly stable.

Well, I use gvim rather than vim because it's still relatively lightweight, starts quickly, it forks into the background when launched leaving my terminal free to launch other files, and the GUI aspect makes browsing easier with regards to navigation (touchpad gestures) and manipulating split panes.

Most commands I do with the standard vi commands, but the odd few that I haven't memorised the commands for, I can find in the menus. gvim in this regard is a nice balance.

I otherwise live in the terminal session, I don't know where you get the idea that I somehow fear a CLI just because I use gvim.

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Anonymous Coward

So, is there anyone here who could actually answer this question once and for all... which one is better? Vim or Emacs?

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Trollface

Sublime.

An decent editor which uses a GUI (that space in between your tiled terminal windows, grandpa).

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Anonymous Coward

"which one is better? Vim or Emacs?"

After 18 years of using "vi" and "vim", I still haven't got a clue how to get started using Emacs... If Emacs has a "vi" mode, I might give it a chance.

:-)

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I still haven't got a clue how to get started using Emacs

I'm the same with vi(m), I resort to sed and cat whenever I can in the absence of emacs.

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Yarr harr! Yup, it does! it's called "evil" mode!

https://github.com/syl20bnr/spacemacs/ and use "evil mode". That's as close to "a good vi" in Emacs as you can get, with quite a bit of additional "goodies".

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Trouble with sublime is that is a GUI application. When I am programming I don't want to worry about finding where the mouse is; I can touch type but cannot touch mouse.

The editors that I use are CHUI (CHaracter UI or curses) based. This means that they also work nicely over a slow ssh connection.

Which editor: microemacs.

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Boffin

> If Emacs has a "vi" mode, I might give it a chance.

Emacs does have a vi mode.

Activate it using "M-x vi-mode".

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Anonymous Coward

Proper Vi, or just pretend?

I recall trying a Vi emulation in Netbeans, and apart from a few minor niggles regarding leaving whitespace at the end of lines, it was usable.

Eclipse also has Vi emulation, which again is quite reasonable, but the constant "IntelliSense" rubbish popping up just drove me up the wall. When you're trying to think of a keyword or variable name the last thing you need is the IDE "shouting names" at you!

As for MonoDevelop… URGH!! Yeah, sure, you can navigate with hjkl, that's where their "vi" mode ends. I find a more pleasurable editing experience using cat and sed!

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So, is there anyone here who could actually answer this question once and for all... which one is better? Vim or Emacs?

Just... don't.

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Silver badge

> Proper Vi, or just pretend?

I cannot tell because I don't know vi good enough. Just give it a shot, you'll see!

Btw. Emacs users: try "M-x butterfly"

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"After 18 years of using "vi" and "vim", I still haven't got a clue how to get started using Emacs... If Emacs has a "vi" mode, I might give it a chance."

I too have been using VI for around 18 years... mainly because I cant figure out how to exit it!

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Anonymous Coward

can't resist the flame

>So, is there anyone here who could actually answer this question once and for all... which one is better? Vim or Emacs?

Lol do a echo $0. If it says bash, Emacs or nano or gedit are probably more for you. GNU is definitely not UNIX.

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how does it work over ssh?

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Stop

Oooo

I'll have to update my copy of Emacs - wonder what's in there now - another new adventure game? Some new version of the Tower of Hanoi simulator? A new screensaver? Or perhaps they've getting more upto-date by implementing Angry Birds in ascii alongside Snake and Tetris. Even 25 years ago on the sun systems I used at uni, Emacs's icon was already a kitchen sink.

Really, Emacs is great, and I love it to bits, but it's a text editor which thinks it's an OS - some one really should have said 'enough' about 30 years ago..

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Pirate

Lave

Oh, ffs, someone's implemented Elite in emacs... Emacs wins.

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Devil

you cannot trust an editor

which spawns a fake religion. Newsgroups for you young'uns, alt.religion.emacs. Still use ed on occasion when sed is not up to it.

Why would anyone not use simple, elegant Vi. Runs on all OS and simulacra like DOS, Win95 and does not give author RSI. To me vim is a household cleaner, Emacs a mispelt Apple thingy. Asbestos coat on, flame away.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: you cannot trust an editor

Well, for vim at least, they explicitly state they no longer support DOS and Windows 95.

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Re: you cannot trust an editor

Why would anyone not use simple, elegant Vi. Runs on all OS and simulacra like DOS, Win95 and does not give author RSI. To me vim is a household cleaner, Emacs a mispelt Apple thingy. Asbestos coat on, flame away.

No flames from me. Have an upvote instead. And I agree, vi did not need "improving". It was perfectly fine as it was.

As for anyone complaining vi causes RSI, try using it with UNIX layout keyboard (ie. the original US keyboard layout where CTRL was where it was intended to be (for some unfathmable reason all keyboards now have Caps Lock there)).

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Emacs doesn't give you RSI, it's not it's fault it was designed for a keyboard with three types of shift key (shift, front and top) and four different control keys (control, meta, super and hyper). Honestly, what's the problem with a keyboard where you need seven fingers each of your three hands to use properly?

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In fairness rebinding caps-lock solves a lot of problems, including ones where you accidentally find yourself shouting for no good reason.

I typically find the latter reaction is quite common when I use Vi...

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Only use the Ravitz editor and if I need to enter UTF-8 I occasionally use Notepad++. Very much in favour of tools that are the equivalent of the simple 4-function calculators...

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