I found this delightful read by Eevee on text editors. The piece is title, “Text Editor Rundown”, and covers the oldies like Vim and Emacs, but also includes some of the new guys, like Sublime Text.

Since editing text, including drafting email replies, consumes an enormous amount of my working hours, I really enjoy reading these type of blog posts either praising or condemning how text editors work. Eevee style is lighthearted, with good amounts of humor thrown in. In short, a wonderful read.

Some of my favorite lines on vim include:

Vim is fairly hostile to beginners, and not even for any good reason. (zsh has a similar problem.) There’s the problem of backwards compatibility, sure, but consider: if a default changed, all the existing users with massive .vimrcs are exactly the people most capable of dealing with it. But instead of putting the biggest burden on the experts, Vim puts it on beginners, who not only have to figure out how to use it, but also have to hunt down the dozen or so knobs they need to turn to make Vim actually worth using.

If you find the article at bit long, the short version is posted below. (tldr)

Everything is bad and computers are terrible.

I don’t have the time to learn Emacs — hell, I barely have the time to learn Vim. I don’t see the appeal of Atom. Sublime Text seems kinda slick, but I’m pretty attached to being able to edit things in a terminal, so I don’t think they’ll be getting seventy bucks from me anytime soon.

My only hope is that someday tpope will descend from the heavens and solve all of my problems for me.

And after all this, I haven’t made much progress at all on the thing I was actually trying to work on. Damn.

Eevee did plug Tim Pope, the author of several popular Vim plugins.

I’m a happy Vim user. And I did not start off that way. Lets just say it took me three separate times to finally start using Vim on a daily basis. Vim really does have a steep learning curve.

If you find yourself spending large chunks of your time drafting words or writing code, please please do one thing for me. Pick one text editor and stick with it. It will pay off. I still find it inspiring when you realize that your fingers just completed an edit before your brain consciously figures out how to execute it. Go Grok your editor.

Happy hacking.

–Chris