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Vim Beats Emacs in 'Linux Journal' Reader Survey (linuxjournal.com) 195

The newly-relaunched Linux Journal is conducting its annual "Reader's Choice Awards," and this month announced the winners for Best Text Editor, Best Laptop, and Best Domain Registrar. Vim was chosen as the best editor by 35% of respondents, handily beating GNU Emacs (19%) Sublime Text (10%) and Atom (8%). Readers' Choice winner Vim is an extremely powerful editor with a user interface based on Bill Joy's 40-plus-year-old vi, but with many improved-upon features including extensive customization with key mappings and plugins. Linux Journal reader David Harrison points out another great thing about Vim "is that it's basically everywhere. It's available on every major platform."
For best laptop their readers picked Lenovo (32%), followed by Dell (25%) and System76 (11%). The ThinkPad began life at IBM, but in 2005, it was purchased by Lenovo along with the rest of IBM's PC business. Lenovo evolved the line, and today the company is well known as a geek favorite. Lenovo's ThinkPads are quiet, fast and arguably have one of the best keyboards (fighting words!). Linux Journal readers say Lenovo's Linux support is excellent, leaving many to ponder why the company doesn't ship laptops with Linux installed.
In February readers also voted on the best web browser, choosing Firefox (57%) over Chrome (17%) and Chromium (7%). And they also voted on the best Linux distribution, ultimately selecting Debian (33%), open SUSE (12%), and Fedora (11%).
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Vim Beats Emacs in 'Linux Journal' Reader Survey

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  • Oh boy! (Score:5, Funny)

    by Bearhouse ( 1034238 ) on Saturday March 17, 2018 @02:38PM (#56275953)

    It's popcorn time!

    • In this basement! A man weighing in at almost 400 lbs who hasn't seen the sun since 2004 when a kid accidentally wandered onto his lawn!

      And in this basement, Linus Torvalds, who treats everyone who writes code for him so badly that they're terrified to check in patches!

      It's the battle of the aspies!

      Who will come out on top? Nobody! And who gives a shit, really! Nobody!
    • by grcumb ( 781340 )

      It's popcorn time!


      The vote was shut down before all the votes were cast! Vim users were all :wq while the EMACS users were still trying to press EXT_META_ALT_CTRL_SHIFT.

      We demand an immediate re-vote. Just as soon as EMACS finishes loading.... so... June 2020... I think.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday March 17, 2018 @02:44PM (#56275971)

    vim is great because it's on all platforms is like saying anal sex is great because it works on all genders.

    • vim is great because it's on all platforms is like saying anal sex is great because it works on all genders.

      I think vim is better because you don't need a functioning control key to do stuff, just an escape key, and a working colon button... for example, the commands to abandon a document and exit without saving, and the one to save and then exit are esc-colon-q, (with a "!" character, if changes have been made since last save, of course,) and esc-colon-x, respectively. With emacs, everything is control-this and control-that, which all kidding aside, means that vim is not just more portable in terms of what it

      • by arth1 ( 260657 )

        and esc-colon-x

        Or simply ZZ.

        But these arguments are not in favor of vim, they're in favor of the vi family. I much prefer nvi over vim, not the least due to file locking, and also because undo/redo also works on undo/redo like in vi, while vim has this changed. In vi/nvi, you can hit u u and toggle between undo or not. Also, vim lacks the open mode of vi.

        But I'm sure that votes came in for vim because that's the only flavor of vi the the voters knew about. Much like the WTF of more people voting for Chrome over Chrom

      • by jrumney ( 197329 )
        Emacs can also be used without a Ctrl key: M-x (aka ESC x) is the only command you need.
      • All that's required for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing.

        Actually, it would appear that all that's required for evil [github.com] to triump is to start convincing Vim users to switch to Emacs.

    • vim is great because it's on all platforms...

      Oh come on. Vim is far more versatile than emacs. Have you ever seen anyone using emacs to clean their toilet [walmart.ca]?

    • by jeremyp ( 130771 )

      Our system admin managed to trash a Linux server by editing the pam config file with nano. One of the lines was longer than the width of the terminal window, so nano inserted a hard line feed to make it wrap.

      We got the server back with a Live CD and that was the last day nano was installed on any of our machines.

    • I wish someone would port it to bloody Emacs then- just about the *only* feature some obsessive hasn't added to that is a decent text editor!
  • by NoNonAlphaCharsHere ( 2201864 ) on Saturday March 17, 2018 @02:54PM (#56276023)
    Most of the Emacs users are still waiting for it to load so they can cast their vote.
    • That joke was funny maybeee back in 1998. Emacs hasn't gotten any more complex while CPU's have increased in power a few order of magnitudes so Emacs is quite the speed demon these days.

      And still more powerful than Vim... I can run Vim inside Emacs after all.

      • by angel'o'sphere ( 80593 ) on Saturday March 17, 2018 @05:18PM (#56276709) Journal

        Emacs, a good operation system. But it lacks a decent editor.

        Glad you now can run vim on (in) it.

        • by jeremyp ( 130771 )

          That joke became obsolete when somebody wrote a vi emulation for Emacs.

          • by jrumney ( 197329 )

            That joke became obsolete when somebody wrote a vi emulation for Emacs.

            I think somebody had already written a vi emulation for Emacs long before anyone came up with that joke. Emacs today ships with at least 4 vi emulations. The original vi-mode seems to be of unknown origin, with the last change made in 1987.

    • Eight Megs and Continuous Swaping.

  • Come back to me when Vim can read Usenet.


    • It can't cook my breakfast or wash my car either. I want my text editor to edit text; I'm not particularly interested in it doing everything. I have other tools for that. And who reads Usenet any more anyways?

  • How to enable color highlighting of source code in Vim OSX bash session?
    Emacs works fine.
    Hight Sierra 10.13.13

  • Well, then. (Score:5, Funny)

    by hey! ( 33014 ) on Saturday March 17, 2018 @02:56PM (#56276037) Homepage Journal

    I guess that's settled.

  • by zm ( 257549 ) on Saturday March 17, 2018 @03:07PM (#56276093) Homepage

    Nuff said.

    • by dwye ( 1127395 )

      You joke, but I used to work with a woman that learned Unix when ed was state of the art. She complained that ex (let alone vi, vim, emacs, etc.) just didn't come off her fingers like ed.

      She also had her own source license, and for a mere $50,000 (1990 dollars) could have updated it to the modern distribution, so that gave her seeming craziness a bit more cred than the emacs bigots who couldn't even mark a section except by deleting and restoring it.

  • Blasphemy. It emulates they keyboard commands from WordStar which the Borland tools also emulated. It's the choice of many old-school programmers.

  • Around 1990 or so I started a new job where everyone used Emacs. So I thought I'd give it a shot. I had 2 major problems:

    It was easy enough to fire up the help system. I couldn't figure out how to exit the help system to get back to my work without killing emacs and restarting.

    A lot of the commands didn't work the way the manual said they would. About 6 months after going back to Vi a co-worker said "oh, you never got our .emacsrc (or whatever it was called). Yeah, these folks had a huge config f
  • by gweihir ( 88907 ) on Saturday March 17, 2018 @03:31PM (#56276175)

    Because I usually use "Joe", because of the WordStar compatibility, as I learned coding with Turbo Pascal and Turbo C. I used Emacs for a while until the devel team there made some really stupid decisions, then I went back to Joe. So far it has compiled anywhere I tried and usually just works.

  • by Barefoot Monkey ( 1657313 ) on Saturday March 17, 2018 @03:47PM (#56276265)

    I've been using VIM for 20 years.

    I swear one of these days I'll figure out how to quit the damn thing!

    • Are we talking about VIM or VIM-within-Emacs?
    • by jrumney ( 197329 )
      Whenever I sat down at a system and had forgotten to set $EDITOR before doing a checkin, sending mail or other activities that automatically drop you into an editor, I used to use:
      killall vi

      But then someone taught me that you can go ESC ESC ESC ESC : q! (apparently one ESC is not always enough, so four or five times is recommended). So mostly I still use my old method.

  • by tomhath ( 637240 ) on Saturday March 17, 2018 @03:49PM (#56276271)
    The top vote getters for text editor are vim and emacs? That right there tells you why linux will never succeed on the desktop.
    • by UnknownSoldier ( 67820 ) on Saturday March 17, 2018 @05:16PM (#56276705)

      /sarcasm Because in order for Linux to succeed on the desktop you need to run some slow, bloated, shitty ribbon bar IDE right?

      It is obvious you don't deal with text day-in and day-out. Vim works because it becomes an extension of your mind once you learn how to use it. It is FAST. It can edit files of almost ANY size.

      * Linux won in the server space. 100% of the Top 500 supercomputers [top500.org] in the world run Linux.
      * Linux won in the mobile space. Linux runs on over 2 Billion [theverge.com] monthly active devices.

      That leaves the desktop space.

      Guess what, no one gives a fuck that Windows dominates the desktop. People _already_ use Linux on the desktop. The only ones complaining about the "quantity" is you.

      • When I have to work under Windows (because 'the PC' runs Windows) I 90% of the time have a linux VM for the real work.

      • by tomhath ( 637240 )

        It is obvious you don't deal with text day-in and day-out.

        My text editing days go back to using SPF on mainframes. Now get off my lawn.

    • That right there tells you why linux will never succeed on the desktop.

      No, that tells you the sort of people who already use Linux on the desktop.

  • by fahrbot-bot ( 874524 ) on Saturday March 17, 2018 @03:57PM (#56276307)

    Linux Journal reader David Harrison points out another great thing about Vim "is that it's basically everywhere. It's available on every major platform."

    So is Emacs ding-dong.

    My $0.02 - I'm a long-time Emacs and Vi user - since the mid 1980s. I use Vi /Vim for short/quick edits and Emacs for things I want more of an IDE. Vim is a fine, fairly simple, text editor and Emacs is, well, Emacs. Granted the learning curve for Emacs much higher to really take advantage of it, but it's well worth it over the long run. If I could only have one editor, it would be Emacs - no question.

    • Re:Sigh (Score:5, Interesting)

      by chthon ( 580889 ) on Saturday March 17, 2018 @04:12PM (#56276389) Homepage Journal

      If only because the buffer and windows system from Emacs is still miles ahead of that in Vim.

      • And extensibility and Emacs LISP programming capabilities. Perhaps not bit draws for a lot of people, but I've written a bunch of LISP programs for Emacs to help me out with various things (and done coding in LISP as a research assistant, back in college).
    • You may want to take a look at what the cool kids use today with electron node.js based editors like Atom.IO and Microsoft Code? There are emacs and vi shortcut packages and the integration and features are amazing and less cumbersome.

      • Thanks for the info. I do have 30+ years of experience w/Emacs so it's not really cumbersome for me. I think I'm still pretty cool, or at least productive. :-)
  • Anyone else here use Geany? With the plugin pack, it is my new favorite. Works the same way on Windows or Linux is another plus.

  • You then can have them all at the same time. :D
  • This kind of sums up the whole conversation...

    https://imgs.xkcd.com/comics/r... [xkcd.com]

  • I ditched Sublime Text for Microsoft's Visual Studio Code because Sublime doesn't support Japanese IME under Linux. I use Vim as well for quick stuff.

    • Kids today who use node.js electron based editors like MS Code and atom.io can install the VIM add on.

      Really emacs and vim are from a different era in time. They only edit text. Emacs does have some limited integration with GDB but one of the reasons for it's decline and the rise of LLVM/CLANG where better error reporting and ide integration.

      • by dwye ( 1127395 )

        Unfair to emacs, which can also edit binary files.

        And the possessive of "it" is "its" -- no apostrophe.

  • If you do app development and are not very old past aged 30 (sarcasm but semi serious in Silcon Valley) you may find Emacs is not so great with integrating and running tools for Android or web development.

    If you are a system admin you probably use Vim and have no reason to change.

    gcc and gdb too have both gotten a bad wrap after LLVM/Clang came out a few years ago to address issues of error reporting and integration with editors and ides. Other compilers with Atom.io and even Microsoft code with them offer

  • by Tony Isaac ( 1301187 ) on Saturday March 17, 2018 @11:53PM (#56278099) Homepage

    C'mon people! There are so many great editors out there today that are actually modern.

    - Notepad++
    - Sublime Text
    - Visual Studio Code
    - Visual Studio

    These editors can do all the important stuff that vim and emacs could do, and you don't have to memorize a whole list of commands to use them!

  • Vim is really more a style of keybindings than strictly an editor at this point.

Solutions are obvious if one only has the optical power to observe them over the horizon. -- K.A. Arsdall