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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  1. Captain DaFt

    So neither...

    is quite ready as a stand alone OS yet? ☺

    Maybe next version.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: So neither...

      Wait till MS uses systemd.

      1. Old Used Programmer

        Re: So neither...

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

      2. This post has been deleted by its author

      3. Anonymous Coward
        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.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      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.

      1. John Smith 19 Gold badge
        Happy

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

        Boom boom.

    3. jake Silver badge

      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 ;-)

      1. Dazed and Confused Silver badge

        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.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          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.

    4. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      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.

    5. jimbot

      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.

  2. xperroni
    Coat

    So no CUA mode yet?

    Well, maybe next time.

    1. jake Silver badge

      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.

      1. wikkity

        Re: Not true CUA, no.

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

      2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        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.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          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.

  3. frank ly Silver badge

    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.

    1. jake Silver badge

      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 ;-)

      1. wikkity

        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)

        1. asdf Silver badge

          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.

          1. wikkity

            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.

          2. slorwitte

            Re: Just wondering

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

        2. slorwitte

          Re: Just wondering

          M-x emacs-uptime

          M-x memory-usage

      2. Anonymous Coward
        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?

    2. Phil Lord

      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.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    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!)

    1. Anonymous Coward
      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.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        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.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

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

    1. Dan 55 Silver badge
      Trollface

      Sublime.

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

      1. alain williams Silver badge

        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.

      2. slorwitte

        how does it work over ssh?

    2. Anonymous Coward
      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.

      :-)

      1. wikkity

        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.

      2. Marco Fontani

        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".

      3. GrumpenKraut Silver badge
        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".

        1. Anonymous Coward
          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!

          1. GrumpenKraut 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"

      4. d3vy Silver badge

        "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!

    3. LionelB

      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.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      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.

  6. Wemb
    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..

  7. Wemb
    Pirate

    Lave

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

  8. Denarius Silver badge
    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.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: you cannot trust an editor

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

    2. Down not across

      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)).

  9. Wemb

    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?

    1. breakfast

      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...

  10. prinox

    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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