Editor war

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Editor war is the common name for the rivalry between users of the vi and Emacs text editors. The rivalry has become a lasting part of hacker culture and the free software community.

Many flame wars have been fought between groups insisting that their editor of choice is the paragon of editing perfection, and insulting the others. Unlike the related battles over operating systems, programming languages, and even source code indent style, choice of editor usually only affects oneself.


Differences between vi and Emacs

The most important differences between vi and Emacs are presented in the following table:

Benefits of vi-like editors

  • Faster than Emacs (historically at least).
  • Runs on all systems that can implement the standard C library, including UNIX, Linux, AmigaOS, DOS, Windows, Mac, BeOS, and POSIX-compliant systems.
  • Allows users of the QWERTY keyboard to keep their fingers on the home row, thus requiring less movement to edit.
  • Ubiquitous. Essentially all Unix and Unix-like systems come with vi (or a variant) built-in.

Benefits of Emacs

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