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Why I left NeoVim and started using Emacs?

pgronkievitz profile image Patryk Gronkiewicz Updated on ・2 min read

What emacs is?

According to some people:

Very good operating without decent editor.

Well, basically - it’s true, but there are some hacks to make it very convinient.

Why did I switch?

Reason is trivial - I was tired of constant switching between Jupyter, PyCharm, Neovim and some other things. Now I can do all necessary stuff in one place. In my case orgmode wasn’t selling point of it, beacuse I’m hardly taking any notes.

What am I using now?

  1. orgmode! - I’m currently writing this post in it and I’m loving it. It made writing posts so much fun that I hope I’ll post more often.
  2. ein - it’s plugin/extension (I don’t know what’s the correct name for it) handling Jupyter notebooks.
  3. EViL mode - vim bindings. Everywhere.
  4. ivy - I find it the best autocompletion engine for now.
  5. doom emacs - my distribution of choice for now. I’ll probably leave it someday and tinker my own config.

Did I left vim for good?

Of course not. Vim is still my editor of choice on servers. Emacs is just too large for quick config edits in my opinion. It’s great as GUI app, but unfortunately its terminal version just sucks.

How to make emacs usable for new user?

Use distribution

Emacs is swiss army chainsaw - it’s way more than vim, so configuration is way more complex. Emacs’ configuration files are written in elisp. It may look weird, but I find this language quite self-explanatory.

Toggl's comic (cropped by me)

There are two major distributions and some minor ones, but I’ll cover only big ones.

Spacemacs

As far as I know it’s the most popular one. I wasn’t using it for long because it overwhelms me. It may be better for some of you, because it has a bit bigger community.

DOOM emacs

That’s the one I’m using right now. It gained some popularity after DT’s video about emacs. Simple to set up and configure. Its configuration is in different folder than emacs’, so it’s a bit independent (at least it’s easier to back up).

Summary

Emacs’ bright sides

  1. It can do basically everything. Org mode is the best notetaking system I found (it even beats MS OneNote, Evernote and Notion). If it can’t do something - there’s plugin to do this for sure.
  2. org mode <3
  3. Support for EViL mode - Vim doesn’t have emacs mode ;)
  4. It’s GUI app, so visuals are a bit better than vim or any other terminal-based application.

Emacs’ drawbacks

  1. It’s a bit clunky. Its startup takes ages.

What is your opinion about emacs? Will it someday win editor war?
If you have any questions feel free to ask, I’ll do my best to share my (poor for now) knowledge with you ;).
Stay tuned!

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