February 20, 2010 22:23
Posted by Jeremy Durham
Last week was R&D week at Beacon, meaning that developers got to work on a project of their choice to increase their understanding of something they may not normally be able to work on.
While doing my R&D week I decided that now would be a good time to learn Emacs. Emacs has been on my list for the last seven or eight years, but never made it to the top.
After a week of Emacs, here’s some of the things that I like:
- Split screen with script/server running and editing. Feels very functional and is a great use of space.
- Unlimited extensions: Magit, Ido, Multi-term, twitter, iBuffer
- Keyboard shortcuts for everything
- The tab key. Emacs really “gets” the tab key. I can tab in the middle of the line and it will correctly tab the beginning of the line, so reformatting is a dream.
- Email, Twitter, RSS, Terminals, etc integrated into one “IDE”
Things I’m trying to get used to or otherwise don’t like:
- Keyboard shortcuts for everything. I want to make sure I’m being productive vs trying to remember as many shortcuts as I can.
- Lack of a beautiful UI
- With infinite customization comes loss of cohesion. I can’t sit at another developer’s desk who uses Emacs and use my shortcuts.
- Why is it so hard to duplicate a line out of the box? In vim I could do “y-y-p”. In Emacs the best I’ve got is C-a C-k C-y C-y, and that’s only if (setq kill-whole-line t) is set. Really?
My last editor change was from vim to Textmate, and though I really miss some vim niceties in Textmate, overall I’ve been fairly happy. I plan to use Emacs for the next few weeks or so, then make a decision at that point.
So, Emacs or VI? Textmate? BBEdit? What’s your favorite editor, and why?