Emacs vs Sublime Text vs Vim

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Emacs

1.1K
992
+ 1
303
Sublime Text

26.5K
21.1K
+ 1
4K
Vim

20.3K
15.8K
+ 1
2.3K
Advice on Emacs, Sublime Text, and Vim
Rogério R. Alcântara
Needs advice
on
VimVim
and
NeovimNeovim

For a Visual Studio Code/Atom developer that works mostly with Node.js/TypeScript/Ruby/Go and wants to get rid of graphic-text-editors-IDE-like at once, which one is worthy of investing time to pick up?

I'm a total n00b on the subject, but I've read good things about Neovim's Lua support, and I wonder what would be the VIM response/approach for it?

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Replies (6)
Recommends
VimVimNeovimNeovim

Neovim can basically do everything Vim can with one major advantage - the number of contributors to the code base is just so much wider (Vim is ~100% maintained only by B. Mooleanaar). Whatever you learn for Neovim you can also apply to Vim and vice versa. And of course there is the never ending Vim vs Emacs controversy - but better not get into that war.

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Jeffrey Johnson
Recommends
at

Actually, the biggest advantage with Neovim (as a VS user) is that you can embed REAL Neovim as the editor UI, rather than using a "Vim emulation", you're using actual NVIM, embedded in VS!

"asvetliakov.vscode-neovim" is the extension you are looking for:

  1. Install the 'vscode-neovim; extension (https://marketplace.visualstudio.com/items?itemName=asvetliakov.vscode-neovim)
  2. Install Neovim version 0.5+ nightly
  3. Start winning.

(You can install neovim-nightly separately for just vscode, I usually build and install it to /opt/nvim - it's enough enough to do - let me know if you need help).

Works wonderfully. It might not work out of the box if you have some 100K epic nvim initialization file, but the plugin documents a workaround for having an embedding/VS specific configuration.

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Kudos Beluga
Recommends
NeovimNeovim

I don't actually notice much of a difference between the two, as the end result looks identical. If you use Vim and are switch to Neovim it's an extremely easy 1-minute process. I switched from Vim to Neovim. I can't say I found much of a difference, but the key points where Neovim could be better than just vim is that first, there are much more people maintaining Neovim compared to vim, which means fewer bugs and a modern code base. It also has a smaller code base which might result in a small speed improvement. Another thing is that it's basically just a fork of vim, so what harm can it do? ;)

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Tarcísio Gruppi
Recommends
VimVim

I recommend using vim 8+ it has native plugin support if you need language supports you can install the package vim-nox which will come with support for python, lua, ruby, etc

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Rogério R. Alcântara
Recommends
NeovimNeovim

The hints on the codebase's contributors and the VSCode integration helped me make up my mind.

I really appreciate all comments, though.

Thanks a bunch!

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Albert Kim
Recommends

It truly depends on whether you want to completely avoid GUI and stick to TUI and command lines. If you want to edit all of your codes within a terminal, then Vim or neovim would be the choice. Emacs can be run in a terminal, but the functionality is limited. Most people use Emacs using GUI and emacs-client not to use too much memory.

My general preference is to use an independent text editor, which is better if it is highly customizable and programmable. So, I have used Emacs for several years. For beginners, I guess Emacs requires significant time to learn to fully enjoy its wonderful functionalities. In that sense, using atom would be a recommendable option.

Regardless of all the situations, learning basic vim in the terminal will help you in any case. In summary, I recommend 1. vim as a default editor in the terminal 2. atom if you are a beginner, or 3. Emacs if you have a long-term plan to master a programmable editor

Other editors like sublime text, VS code, and so forth are also worth learning and using. But, no matter which editor you choose, stick to one or two until you become an advanced user. Being able to use most text editors at an intermediate level is waste of time.

I hope it helps.

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Decisions about Emacs, Sublime Text, and Vim
Kamaleshwar BN
Head of Engineering at Dibiz Pte. Ltd. · | 12 upvotes · 733.8K views

Visual Studio Code became famous over the past 3+ years I believe. The clean UI, easy to use UX and the plethora of integrations made it a very easy decision for us. Our gripe with Sublime was probably only the UX side. VSCode has not failed us till now, and still is able to support our development env without any significant effort.

Goland being paid, as well as built only for Go seemed like a significant limitation to not consider it.

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Andrey Ginger
Managing Partner at WhiteLabelDevelopers · | 3 upvotes · 305.6K views

Since communication with Github is not necessary, the Atom is less convenient in working with text and code. Sublim's support and understanding of projects is best for us. Notepad for us is a completely outdated solution with an unacceptable interface. We use a good theme for Sublim ayu-dark

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Simon Ibssa
Student at California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo · | 2 upvotes · 662.7K views

I decided to choose VSCode over Sublime text for my Systems Programming class in C. What I love about VSCode is its awesome ability to add extensions. Intellisense is a beautiful debugger, and Remote SSH allows me to login and make real-time changes in VSCode to files on my university server. This is an awesome alternative to going back and forth on pushing/pulling code and logging into servers in the terminal. Great choice for anyone interested in C programming!

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Pros of Emacs
Pros of Sublime Text
Pros of Vim
  • 65
    Vast array of extensions
  • 43
    Have all you can imagine
  • 40
    Everything i need in one place
  • 38
    Portability
  • 31
    Customer config
  • 15
    Your config works on any platform
  • 12
    Low memory consumption
  • 11
    Perfect for monsters
  • 9
    All life inside one program
  • 7
    Extendable, portable, fast - all at your fingertips
  • 4
    Enables extremely rapid keyboard-only navigation
  • 4
    Extensible in Lisp
  • 4
    Runs everywhere important
  • 4
    Widely-used keybindings (e.g. by bash)
  • 3
    Git integration
  • 3
    May be old but always reliable
  • 3
    Powerful UI
  • 3
    Asynchronous
  • 2
    Powerful multilanguage IDE
  • 2
    FOSS Software
  • 722
    Lightweight
  • 654
    Plugins
  • 641
    Super fast
  • 468
    Great code editor
  • 443
    Cross platform
  • 280
    Nice UI
  • 259
    Unlimited trial
  • 154
    Cmd + d is the best command ever
  • 92
    Great community
  • 47
    Package control, modules
  • 26
    Mac OS X support
  • 23
    Easy to get started with
  • 22
    Monokai
  • 21
    Built in Python
  • 21
    Everything you need without the bloat
  • 18
    Easy
  • 14
    Speed
  • 12
    Session & edit resuming
  • 10
    Package Control
  • 9
    Well Designed
  • 8
    Multiple selections
  • 7
    Nice
  • 7
    Fast, simple and lightweight
  • 7
    ALT + CMD + DOWN is the best command ever
  • 5
    So futuristic and convenient
  • 5
    It's easy to use, beautiful, simple, and plugins rule
  • 5
    Great
  • 5
    ALT + F3 the best command ever
  • 4
    Simple and clean design
  • 4
    Free
  • 4
    Find anything fast within entire project
  • 3
    Easy to use
  • 3
    UI + plugins
  • 3
    Sublime Merge (Git Integration)
  • 3
    Pretty
  • 3
    Hackable
  • 2
    Totally customizable
  • 2
    Color schemes and cmd+d
  • 2
    Material theme best theme forever
  • 343
    Comes by default in most unix systems (remote editing)
  • 324
    Fast
  • 310
    Highly configurable
  • 293
    Less mouse dependence
  • 242
    Lightweight
  • 141
    Speed
  • 98
    Plugins
  • 94
    Hardcore
  • 80
    It's for pros
  • 64
    Vertically split windows
  • 26
    Open-source
  • 23
    Modal editing
  • 21
    No remembering shortcuts, instead "talks" to the editor
  • 19
    It stood the Test of Time
  • 14
    Unicode
  • 11
    VimPlugins
  • 11
    Stick with terminal
  • 11
    Dotfiles
  • 11
    Everything is on the keyboard
  • 10
    Flexible Indenting
  • 9
    Programmable
  • 8
    Hands stay on the keyboard
  • 8
    Large number of Shortcuts
  • 8
    Efficient and powerful
  • 7
    Modal editing changes everything
  • 7
    Because its not Emacs
  • 7
    Unmatched productivity
  • 7
    Everywhere
  • 7
    A chainsaw for text editing
  • 6
    Super fast
  • 6
    You cannot exit
  • 6
    Themes
  • 6
    Makes you a true bearded developer
  • 6
    Developer speed
  • 4
    Most and most powerful plugins of any editor
  • 4
    Shortcuts
  • 4
    Habit
  • 4
    Shell escapes and shell imports :!<command> and !!cmd
  • 4
    Great on large text files
  • 4
    Intergrated into most editors
  • 4
    Plugin manager options. Vim-plug, Pathogen, etc
  • 4
    EasyMotion
  • 3
    Intuitive, once mastered
  • 2
    Perfect command line editor

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Cons of Emacs
Cons of Sublime Text
Cons of Vim
  • 2
    Hard to learn for beginners
  • 1
    So good and extensible, that one can get sidetracked
  • 1
    Not default preinstalled in GNU/linux
  • 7
    Steep learning curve
  • 4
    Flexibility to move file
  • 4
    Everything
  • 3
    Number of plugins doing the same thing
  • 3
    Doesn't act like a Mac app
  • 2
    Don't have flutter integration
  • 1
    Forces you to buy license
  • 1
    Not open sourced
  • 7
    Ugly UI
  • 4
    Hard to learn
  • 1
    It's not Emacs

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What is Emacs?

GNU Emacs is an extensible, customizable text editor—and more. At its core is an interpreter for Emacs Lisp, a dialect of the Lisp programming language with extensions to support text editing.

What is Sublime Text?

Sublime Text is available for OS X, Windows and Linux. One license is all you need to use Sublime Text on every computer you own, no matter what operating system it uses. Sublime Text uses a custom UI toolkit, optimized for speed and beauty, while taking advantage of native functionality on each platform.

What is Vim?

Vim is an advanced text editor that seeks to provide the power of the de-facto Unix editor 'Vi', with a more complete feature set. Vim is a highly configurable text editor built to enable efficient text editing. It is an improved version of the vi editor distributed with most UNIX systems. Vim is distributed free as charityware.

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What companies use Emacs?
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What companies use Vim?

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What are some alternatives to Emacs, Sublime Text, and Vim?
Atom
At GitHub, we're building the text editor we've always wanted. A tool you can customize to do anything, but also use productively on the first day without ever touching a config file. Atom is modern, approachable, and hackable to the core. We can't wait to see what you build with it.
Eclipse
Standard Eclipse package suited for Java and plug-in development plus adding new plugins; already includes Git, Marketplace Client, source code and developer documentation. Click here to file a bug against Eclipse Platform.
Spacemacs
Since version 0.101.0 and later Spacemacs totally abolishes the frontiers between Vim and Emacs. The user can now choose his/her preferred editing style and enjoy all the Spacemacs features. Even better, it is possible to dynamically switch between the two styles seamlessly which makes it possible for programmers with different styles to do seat pair programming using the same editor.
Neovim
Neovim is a project that seeks to aggressively refactor Vim in order to: simplify maintenance and encourage contributions, split the work between multiple developers, enable the implementation of new/modern user interfaces without any modifications to the core source, and improve extensibility with a new plugin architecture.
Visual Studio Code
Build and debug modern web and cloud applications. Code is free and available on your favorite platform - Linux, Mac OSX, and Windows.
See all alternatives