Emacs vs vi?

I like vi. It is on almost all systems, and it is powerful enough that I can use it to compile emacs.

Face it. The only reason vi exists is to facilitate the compilation of emacs. Emacs rules!!

Remember, vi is Evil’s middle name.

Attention heretical scum,

A real man’s word processor is:

echo [text] >> file.txt

After all, if you’re gonna make a mistake, just don’t type it in the first place.

Someone should make a logo to put all those “Made in notepad” people in their place. Maybe “Made with echo” or “Made in copy con”.

With all the brouhaha about how EMacs contains a full-featured macro programming language, some vi enthusiast out there got so ticked off that he turned around and wrote a Turning Machine simulator in the vi macro language – thus demonstrating that vi macro programs are, also, capable of doing anything that can be programmed.

The only reason that vi or anything based on it exists is to let some people think that sticking bamboo shoots under their fingernails somehow makes them “manly.”

If you want a text editor that actually accomplishes something, go to IBM mainframes and use TSO/ISPF or its ingenious PC-compatible cousin SPF/2.


I was going to suggest PICO: easier to use than vi, far less bloated than emacs, and on most systems. But now I just feel so… inadequate. I’ll just go sit in the corner.

vi is simple, powerful, and flexible for any test processing that does not require specialized formatting. It continues to exist because it works hand-in-hand with the syntax of grep and sed (ie – uses base regular expressions). Regular expressions are a very powerful means of parsing and processing text. Then again, if you can’t stomach the vi interface you aren’t likely to be writing sed scripts anyway, so you might as well crank up emacs (or MS Word, for that matter).

That said – use what you know and feel comfortable with. Better or worse are only opinions. Facility will help you work.

The best lack all conviction
The worst are full of passionate intensity.