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ST vs emacs?

ST vs emacs?

Postby caojx on Tue Oct 15, 2013 3:50 am

I agree that Sublime Text is really a cool editor. But can anyone tell me what's the fundamental technical advantages over emacs?
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Re: ST vs emacs?

Postby Evoken on Tue Oct 15, 2013 4:40 am

Checkout this set of video tutorials:

https://tutsplus.com/course/improve-wor ... me-text-2/

It should give you a nice overview of what Sublime offers. The videos are very helpful too in getting familiar with Sublime so check out the ones that draw your attention.
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Re: ST vs emacs?

Postby caojx on Tue Oct 15, 2013 6:50 am

Yes, I understand that ST has lots of cool feature, and I really like them. But actually, some of the features (e.g., Instance File Changing, Key Binding) already exists in other editors, like vim and emacs.

But technically, what's the advantages over emacs? I mean what techniques ST uses make emacs is not even comparable to ST, or potentially?
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Re: ST vs emacs?

Postby skuroda on Tue Oct 15, 2013 7:57 am

What one person defines as an advantage doesn't apply to everyone, so it's not really a good question (in my opinion). Some people like the things like multi cursors, command palette, and the the plugin environment. I don't know about the first two points, but I know you can expand emacs. That being said, I'd take a guess that people are more familiar with python when compared to emacs lisp, so there is some sense of familiarity. That being said, I'd also believe that the number of plugins (or whatever the equivalent is) for emacs outnumbers that of ST, so you may not need to build anything. I also believe ST is pretty easy to just pick up and use (this statement is compared to vim so might not be saying much as the vim learning curve is steep to say the least).

At the end of the day, doesn't it really come down to what you are comfortable and productive with? If you haven't tried it out already, there are plugins to mimic some of the emacs behavior. I know https://github.com/grundprinzip/sublemacspro had come up on the forums before, so might be worth checking out.
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Re: ST vs emacs?

Postby caojx on Tue Oct 15, 2013 8:40 am

Thanks for the reply.

Emacs has a command palette, and can enable multi cursors editing with an plugin.

I think you are right, ST is much easier to learn than emacs. And compare with emacs, I guess ST's plugin is much easier to write, since python is used. People are more familiar with python than lisp.

And also thanks for the ST plugin to mimic emacs behavior. Actually, I am not the type of guys who believe that emacs is everything. I guess there will be a better editor coming up some other day, and I am waiting for it.
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Re: ST vs emacs?

Postby qgates on Wed Oct 16, 2013 4:25 am

It comes down to workflow. For every individual that's going to be different, but ST's advantage is that advanced workflow is accessible to newcomers. You'll always find a tool that has particular features unmatched by others. I also use Vim and Crisp, and both are very powerful editors. I have also used Emacs. All of these I've used for many many years, I still use Vim and Crisp for particular tasks.

When I came to Sublime I was sceptical because in the beginning it was all about power, matching features and bending it to existent workflows from other editors. But the truth is, over time, I've developed new workflows around Sublime. Some I can match in other editors and some I can't, but in Sublime they're obvious and tightly integrated, whereas in others many aren't.

It's a personal choice, but I would allow your mind to stay open and stay focused on what the tool allows you to achieve, and how quickly and painlessly. For my purposes, coding in a multitude of languages and across different platforms, Sublime saves me a good deal of time from other editors. And for some reason, its aesthetics really help too. Sublime's approach is different: minimal UI, simple json-based config and quick and easy to tailor to your needs with plugins, themes, skins, shortcuts etc. After just a few days I was able to do all of these things and I didn't need to keep remembering how to do them. I love the fuzzy matching and how it prioritises completions for example. You can build your own knowledge base of keystrokes to match a pattern, and after selecting it a few times, it becomes the default. I love that kind of thing; the interface blends out and the editor just does what you want. I still prefer Emacs and Crisp's loosely coupled buffers and views concept, but you can achieve the same end in Sublime and in practice it doesn't affect my workflow.

For me, the biggest technical limitation of Sublime is the macros, specifically that they can only record text events and not things like search&replace or other editor actions. Crisp allowed me to build up complex repetitive commands into a macro, often including regex find etc. then repeat it over and over by hand, or X amount of times. I miss that from Crisp, and find myself going back there for certain tasks. That together with better code folding, virtual whitespace and proper line/column selection modes would make Sublime about perfect for me. Add onto that richer api's for sidebar etc. and a proper command mode for cherries on top. Lastly good performance on massive files, and the ability to monitor progress and abort any lengthy UI blocking operations, a PITA in sublime on big files.

The only other niggles with Sublime are documentation - could be better - and the developer responding to fixing things and community requests. Jon's done some great work and continues, I hope, to do so. But we do have these extended periods of silence, and some users are having issues with things not behaving quite as they should.

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Re: ST vs emacs?

Postby mindlube on Wed Oct 16, 2013 8:43 pm

Longtime Emacs user here (about 20 years!). What makes SublimeText3 different? It's lean & mean & fast & modern. But technically there is nothing under the hood that is so different than other text editors, I think. It largely boils down to ease of use and aesthetics. ST has it's Tabbed view, minimap, Folder/Project sidebar and all this stuff that just works out of the box.
Yes, Emacs could be trained to do all that stuff, with sufficient amount of Lisp coding :o I for one dont really want to spend any more time writing or hacking on Emacs Lisp. :mrgreen: Currently I use the following editors on a regular basis:

* Emacs- my goto editor if I am SSHed to a computer, or dont have a Desktop/Windowing environment.
* Monodevelop- I do a lot of C# Mono/.NET coding and I cannot live without the semantic + intellisense offered by the IDE (not to mention brain dead easy compilation of .dlls)
* SublimeText3 - catch all, for everything else: javascript, html, css, ruby, perl, and any text editor tasks in a Desktop environment.
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