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GNU is Not Unix Software

Evil, Almost Full Vim Implementation In Emacs, Reaches 1.0 252

New submitter karijes writes "Evil is a new Emacs major mode intended to implement full Vim emulation for Emacs editor, and it's reached its first stable release. Evil implements many Vim features and has support for plugins, so there is port for rails.vim, NERDCommenter and mapleader among others. You can find details about this release on the mailing list."
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Evil, Almost Full Vim Implementation In Emacs, Reaches 1.0

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  • by dennisr (17484) <dennisr@spacerode n t . org> on Saturday February 16, 2013 @12:43AM (#42919777) Homepage

    Didn't emacs already have this: viper mode? Or was that just straight vi? I for one liked viper mode so I am going to try this new mode out.

  • Funny Story... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Greyfox (87712) on Saturday February 16, 2013 @01:46AM (#42920083) Homepage Journal
    Back in the 90's one of the contracting gigs I took was security auditing code for Data General, for their B2 unix certification. Our team was mostly doing the C standard library but once we finished that we started working on the utilities. One of my co-workers got vi (I got awk and telnetd, but that's another funny story entirely.) He wasn't a fan of vi when he started but he turned into a vi guru and fanatic as he started going through the code. At one point I mentioned that Emacs had a vi emulation, and he started going over it to see how it differed from real vi. I seem to recall that he thought it was a pretty good emulation overall, but he lamented the lack of a couple of fairly esoteric features of vi. We also found a comment in there from the 70's about how the author didn't really like how he was handling something to do with the terminal handling, with a note to fix it one of these days.

    I never liked that newfangled vim. It's far too... colorful. I usually swap it out for nvi, which is much more vi-like. Distributions (like Redhat) that install pico as the default editor make me punch someone. Maybe the guy who thought pico should be considered in any way an acceptable UNIX editor. I always have to swear, abort back to the command line, and export VISUAL=vi.

  • by Celarent Darii (1561999) on Saturday February 16, 2013 @04:53AM (#42920635)

    Viper mode is good, but it is at times confusing, especially when you confuse it with too many Escapes. Evil has quite a few more features too. Both are good projects, though I think Evil has progressed more.

  • Every time you post 875, someone's going to have to post 1072 [].
  • by elijahu (1421) on Saturday February 16, 2013 @09:50AM (#42921657) Journal

    I started to agree with you, but then you went a bogus direction.

    "Intelligent people" do understand that it's meaningless (though occasionally amusing) to argue whether vi/m or emacs is better, but that's because they understand that if you've invested the effort to truly learn and use either, that your text editing capability will be far superior to what can be done in any other text editing tool.

    Yes, it's just text editing. While there are some new features that crop up from time to time as new tools or formats come along, the basic complexities of text manipulation have been pretty well figured out and solutions implemented for a long time. This is the reason why emacs and vi/m remain so successful, because they remain a collective memory of decades worth of solutions to text manipulation challenges (just as Linux is a collective memory of solutions to computing challenges). There's a whole world "in" there, it just takes a bit of devotion to explore it.

    There have not been "superior" alternatives to both. There have been attempts to try to because emacs and vi have steep learning curves. The alternatives have invariably fallen short, however, because while you can dumb down an interface, you lose that ability to effectively tap into that vast pool of solutions emacs and vi offer. You also loose the efficiency gain from their ui philosophy, which may have originated in the 70's low-bandwidth terminal mentality, but guess what, it's still just text on the screen and those old mentalities still have more relevance than you may understand.

    The alternatives also all tend to fail to capture the full scope of the capabilities that emacs and vi offer. Someone further up the thread called them 'esoteric'. If your job is to manipulate text all day long, those 'esoteric' factors can have a tremendous impact on your effectiveness.

    Muscle memory is, indeed part of it, but not the full story. Its about effective use of my time. It's not that people that use emacs or vi are "thinking to hard", its that people who aren't are working too hard and maybe haven't though enough. While you're scratching your head and waving your mouse pointer around trying to find the right menu to do open to reveal some set of options from which you have to choose which one might or might not fully do the text manipulation task you need it to do, I've already done exactly what I wanted to do with a few keystrokes. The next time it needs to be done, you'll still be wandering through your menus, and it will still just be a few keystroke for me (possibly fewer if I've made a macro). Its about investing the time to learn from the folks that already figured it out, and having a system that makes future repetition of that process as streamlined as possible.

    Oh, and universality... you may think Unix is niche, but there sure seems to be a lot of it around. It's pretty hard to find one that doesn't have vi, emacs, or both on it. Macs are also niche, I guess, but there again you'll find vi and emacs just a terminal prompt away. Maybe your world is Windows-centric. I'm sorry, but even there you can easily download either. The investment made in learning the capabilities of either are useable on any system you might encounter. There are few (if any) alternatives that can make the same claim and offer the same features.