(Neo)Vim can handle multithreading properly - unlike Emacs - but otherwise Emacs feels far more extensible. The keybinding innovations - mostly taken from \`ed\` - and macro system make manipulating files an incredibly productive process. Vim users often have a library of cli and tui programs that they use in conjunction with Vim to facilitate a desktop ecosystem without a GUI.

Learn the keybindings! These standards work everywhere.

If you can install things on your system - and want to use an expressive cli text editor - use neovim. It runs faster, is more expressive, and supports built-in modern tooling for systems like the language-server protocol and tree-sitter for robust and performant syntax highlighting.

Cheat Sheets!


Evaluation of Leader keys

  • Comma: As it should always be followed with a space grammatically, every other key can be freely mapped to with no delay! You lose the functionality of backwards repeating though…
  • Space: What doom emacs uses. My current key and what I'm used to. This works fine, but the timeout definitely can impact the fluency of writing on occasion.
  • Semicolon: Interesting option, but there seem to be some strange repeat patterns in specific modes.
  • Escape: Controversial, it's pretty far away… but it's the default. Unclear whether bashing the pinkie to the right is a great motion (just like Emacs and the left).