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Discussion on: How I chose my Code Editor

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Evan Wilde

IDE days

Started with eclipse, felt bulky and slow. Switched to qtcreator, which worked quite well for a while, but still felt like overkill.

Lightening up

Then I switched to lighter editors. First came sublime, then atom. Sublime was nice. Atom was like a slow Sublime. Neither were thrilling, but both were better than Notepad++, which is what people were recommending.

Magic editors

Then, in my second year of undergrad in university, I saw my professor using vim effectively. It looked like magic. There were so few keys involved, with the ability to do so much. It was beautiful. So, I sat down and learned vim.

Then I started my masters. My supervisor is on the emacs side of the vim-emacs religious war. He showed me may interesting features with emacs, and it too had the appearance of magic. So I learned/configured emacs to my liking.

Now, I use both vim and emacs simultaneously. A lot of the packages in emacs are better written and are more efficient, but I prefer the vim workflow. For my research, nothing can replace org-mode. You can write your ideas, implement the sql queries, r functions, or python snippets, directly in your document, and have the results output directly into the document too. It's like an ipython notebook, for any language. It's really a great setup for that purpose.

I hate the navigation in emacs. Moving characters and words is fine, but moving between window panes is a nightmare. For my bigger/multifile projects, I like to use vim + tmux, which are also integrated into my window manager. So, the continuity of my setup is vim-centric, so it feels better than emacs.

So, basically, vim and emacs, almost equally.