Oliver Caldwell's blog
On languages, text editors and tools
Why a lover of Vim is going to try Emacs
September 16, 2014
I’ve been using Vim for a couple of years now, despite that making up around half of my entire career, I feel like I’ve learnt it rather well. I can’t hack VimL like tpope, all hail, but I can flit around a large project and edit almost without thinking. The editor becomes a language seared into your muscle memory. It’s so good I couldn’t possibly drop it for a BBOJAAIDE (Big ball of Java as an IDE).
So why on earth am I going to give the forbidden Emacs a whirl? Partially because of a very good, and lengthy, discussion over twitter with @krisajenkins and @JasonImison but also because of the following reasons.
It has an excellent Vim emulation plugin, I actually struggled a little to find holes in it. Obviously there are some, and that’s okay, vi3w isn’t a particularly common command. It truly feels that Emacs is a platform and Evil mode is the editor. It’s Vim if it was written on top of the “Emacs OS” instead of Unix, for example.
I want to become a Clojarian
Lisp > VimL
The only way I can describe VimL: A beautiful gnarled old tree that can drop a branch on you at any moment. Also, it’s filled with huge, angry, bees. It seems like something fun to tinker with, but you soon find yourself in a rabbit hole. With the rabbit. It has rabies.
I know Elisp isn’t Clojure, but it’s still a Lisp. Something about the languages really appeals to me, maybe it’s the minimal syntax, maybe I just have a thing for parentheses. Only time will tell. But I think using Lisp day to day to configure something to write more Lisp will help me along my journey to functional enlightenment.
Learning shit is fun.