Authored Comments

I'm a staunch emacs user. Even in spite of a chance meeting with the guy who invented vi. I was in Cory Hall at UC Berkeley when a grad student bathed in and told everyone, "Come look what I just did!" He opened his special version of the "ex" editor, typed ":v" and it went into "vi"sual mode.
However my personal biggest problem with vi is with identifying what will happen if you just type. In vi you are either in insert mode or append mode. The char you type will go either before the insertion point or after it. In emacs typing always is in append mode. That's all due to how the newline is handled. In vi it is special. In emacs it is just another char. It just displays as a line break but it's still a char.
I used to use emacs for just about everything. From email to shell interaction. This was especially helpful when using dialup modems! Now emacs is still my primary editor. I especially like the query replace function! Very handy.

Thanks for your article. Hopefully others will make the break too.

I was in the computer room in Cory Hall at Berkeley when a grad student announced that everyone should come and look at what he just did, he started a special version of "ex" and typed ":v" to enter "visual mode" which quickly became known as VI.
In spite of that, at my first job in Silicon Valley I was introduced to ESE (Emacs Screen Editor). Since then I have become a huge Emacs fan.
The difference between emacs and vi is simple. In vi you have to either append or insert and the cursor is never placed on the return char. This makes every edit a decision. Do I want to enter chars after the current position or before? In emacs the cursor is always displayed after the insertion point. That way you always just type to insert new text in the file.
That simplicity and other powerful features of Emacs have kept me always coming back!