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Ask Slashdot: Correlation Between Text Editor and Programming Language? 359

tyggna writes: "The flame wars of different shells and text editors have long been established, but my question is this: are text editors and various languages linked? Do the majority of Ruby programmers use Emacs? Are most Perl programmers using vim?

Please post your editor and language of choice in the comments."
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Ask Slashdot: Correlation Between Text Editor and Programming Language?

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  • Uh, sure.. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday June 27, 2014 @04:59PM (#47336243)

    Some editors are more useful or even custom tailored for specific languages or functional areas, and naturally people who use those languages or work in those areas tend to gravitate towards them.

    Some languages (like java) are almost unusable without one of several popular editors, which deal with a lot of the boilerplate and let you navigate around the kind of "a million small pieces" type code you get with java. You can code java in vim if you want to, but working on a large java project with vim is probably not a common practice (I'm sure several counter-examples will be provided below).

    Apple is probably the king of the designated editor group, with microsoft coming in at a close second. These are relatively closed stacks and have purpose built (and pretty decent) tools to work with them, so most people do.

    And then some languages (scripting languages, c/c++) are edited commonly with just about everything.

    Outside specific editor features designed with a specific language in mind, or tools which require a specific editor, I don't think anything drives someone to use one generic editor over another one of similar capability. People chose vim vs emacs for non-language specific reasons (for example: number of attached hands).

    Also this is a really lame question. Does anyone really care about editor flame wars any more? People use what they like, what works, or what they are mandated to.

    • Re:Uh, sure.. (Score:5, Insightful)

      by 1s44c ( 552956 ) on Friday June 27, 2014 @05:03PM (#47336275)

      I think we should close the comments here. The parent covered all the important points.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward

        No, he missed at least one reason why scripting and c/c++ languages are commonly edited with just about anything. They're too complex or lack the proper hints to allow easily creatable intelligent tooling. Another factor is timing. Developers starting on Emacs/VI when there was nothing else around kept with those tools. Newer developers grab the newer tools and stick with those. I'd bet the older languages are more commonly edited in text editors compared to newer languages. The exception to this is w

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      Apple is probably the king of the designated editor group, with microsoft coming in at a close second

      Wut. Visual Studio is light years ahead of any other IDE anywhere
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward

        I meant as far as having a "one true editor".

        Visual studio is popular for windows development, but there are also plenty of popular alternatives.

        Does anyone do any kind of development for apple without using xcode? I've never even heard of another editor in common use on apple.

        • BBEdit gets a fair amount of use as well. Some versions of xcode will even emulate BBEdit commands, if you set the right option. (And may have the option to directly substitute BBEdit as the main text editor.)

          But I get your point: If you are writing in Obj-C, you are probably using xcode, because you are almost certainly developing for either Mac or iOS, and that is where you need to be.

      • Re:Uh, sure.. (Score:4, Insightful)

        by thewebsiteisdown ( 1397957 ) on Friday June 27, 2014 @05:08PM (#47336363)

        Apple is probably the king of the designated editor group, with microsoft coming in at a close second Wut. Visual Studio is light years ahead of any other IDE anywhere

        This is the correct answer. IDGAF what anyone says about it, VS has no equal. That debugger is as close to magic as I've seen a computer come.

        • I agree (as a regular VS, Xcode, and Eclipse user, in addition to Xamarin Studio and others) that Visual Studio is the awesomest IDE, but it's only fair to add that the "E" part has actually regressed a little in recent years. For example, they dropped support for macro recording/playback. I'm guessing their excuse was that they rewrote everything and didn't get around to it, but still... *grump* *grump*
      • Re:Uh, sure.. (Score:5, Insightful)

        by DataPath ( 1111 ) on Friday June 27, 2014 @05:13PM (#47336427)

        Obviously false.

        Emacs comes with a built-in psychoanalyst - a critical feature for any experienced developer. Especially one using Emacs.

        Visual Studio lacks such a feature, so the logical conclusion is that developers using Visual Studio are simply inexperienced.

        Although, to be fair, Emacs isn't properly an IDE, it's an OS that comes with IDE features.

      • Wut. Visual Studio is light years ahead of any other IDE anywhere

        Regardless of whether you are being serious or facetious, editor != IDE.

        Lots of languages are primarily developed in "simple" text editors, which have a plugin or two for syntax highlighting and maybe a couple of other bells and whistles, but which are a far cry from a full-blown IDE.

        The majority of Ruby programmers likely use TextMate, SublimeText, VIM, or similar. Emacs is used too but is probably not as common as those others.

        But the editor space has become much more fragmented in the last few y

    • by Nutria ( 679911 )

      (for example: number of attached hands).

      This was written to satirize the number of huge emacs chords, but is actually a valid point: since I only have one hand capable of keyboarding, emacs is a non-starter for me.

      • I don't have to use chording with emacs, if you use emacs with a window then you can use menus for most things and still use it like a generic point-and-click style that all the new editors and IDEs use. However I agree that if you start a text based emacs from a shell then it will be a bit clumsy unless you know how to make it start up in vi compatible mode or have added customization.

  • Emacs, vi, IDE (Score:4, Insightful)

    by mrflash818 ( 226638 ) on Friday June 27, 2014 @05:00PM (#47336249) Homepage Journal

    In that order.

    • In that order.

      FIFY.... (IMHO)

      Everybody doing Linux work needs to know VI, at least well enough to get Emacs running. If you want to do an IDE, you are going to need X which used to require editing that huge config file where I used VI. Why bother with Emacs, unless you write LISP code anyway... Syntax highlighting? Does that even work in the terminal version?

      • by Anrego ( 830717 ) *

        There's always nano :)

      • Syntax highlighting? Does that even work in the terminal version?

        Yes, it works on the terminal. Autocompletion, and real time compiling also do.

      • Emacs does so much more than vi, and so much more than syntax highlighting. Though vim has been catching up (I think some people think vi and vim are the same thing) it still isn't quite up to what emacs does and I found it more difficult to customize (I turn off it's default syntax hilighting for creating an unreadable mess). Real vi doesn't support multiple view windows (though vim does), and definitely not multiple frames (separately placeable windows). Emacs has support for a huge number of languages

    • by rwa2 ( 4391 ) *

      Depends on whose code I'm editing.

      If it's my own, then emacs.

      If it's someone else's, then usually vi since I'm probably in a hurry.

      IDEs I play with every once in a while, but invariably I hit some silly brick wall where it's better/faster/dareIsayeasier to bring it up in emacs.

      I have been using notepad++ on Windows a lot lately, and just wondering what the closest thing to that there is on Linux. It's the only thing I've seen that combines the feature set of emacs with the snappiness of vi while still havi

  • The reason I vim and Perl is that I run Perl on a unix system. When I run it on windows, I use Notepad++. So I think it might have more to do with the operating systems than with personal preferences.
    • by Z00L00K ( 682162 )

      If I want to view/edit random code I go for VIM as long as it's a small scale action. If I'm going to work with larger scale projects in C++ or Java it's Eclipse. For hash-coding in C# it's Visual studio.

      I gave up on Emacs 20 years ago because it was never as default on the systems I was on then and it was too much of a hassle to build it on them.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    C, vi. My IDE is make. Now get off my lawn!

  • Mostly vim, although I'll drop to Eclipse if I need a debugger for Java.
  • wait, what?
    Yes, BBEdit and Emacs, side-to-side, one for its clean interface, multi-file search GUI, etc. and the other one for its macros and programmability.
    Now if only Python had a good *native* GUI debugger on Mac OS X that'd be useful.
  • Wow. Congrats on your double troll!
    PS: Vim-ruby FTW!

  • vim and C++ (Score:2, Informative)

    I use vim for almost 100% of all editing. My main programming language is C++

    • I use vim almost exclusively (windows or linux), and use it for PHP, Perl, and C++.

      It just works, why get all fancy?

    • by Lotana ( 842533 )

      I love vim, but only for Python. I do not know how you would survive using vim for C++ since projects written in that language are always large.

      Given the absolute bottomless complexity of C++, what do you use as a debugger?

  • OK (Score:5, Funny)

    by slapout ( 93640 ) on Friday June 27, 2014 @05:08PM (#47336347)

    "Please post your editor and language of choice in the comments."

    O'Reilly and English

  • by Fished ( 574624 ) <`moc.liamg' `ta' `yrogihpma'> on Friday June 27, 2014 @05:08PM (#47336349)

    I was an Emacs dude for a long time and still use it. Then I tried RubyMine, and eventually upgraded to IDEA. The IDE features are sometimes handy. I also use vi very regularly for quick edits of small scripts.

    I would no more stick to one editor than I would stick to one programming language. Right tool for the job is the key.

  • ... the emacs psychiatrist comes in handy.

  • N/A (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Oligonicella ( 659917 ) on Friday June 27, 2014 @05:11PM (#47336403)

    I don't use one language, I don't use one machine, I don't use one operating system, I don't use one editor and I don't program into any language with just one of those editors. So, to me, the entire topic reduces to "That doesn't even make sense."

  • by Mysticalfruit ( 533341 ) on Friday June 27, 2014 @05:12PM (#47336409) Homepage Journal
    If I have to write a tool, I create a new buffer in emacs and have at it. If I'm standing in front of a machine fixing it, I'll reach for vi, only because it's on every platform.

    I work in almost a 100% UNIX environment and what I generally see on people's desktops are: emacs, Eclipse (some flavor) and IntelliJ.
  • See title

    VS also handles javascript pretty well these days, so I rarely have to leave the VS bubble - which is nice, as VS is actually a pretty darn good IDE.

    Very recently I've been fooling about with learning Android development, for which I use IDEA. It's no VS (I miss VS), but it's also no (major ew) Eclipse.

    On the rare occasion that I have to edit some other type of code file (or the slightly less rare occasion that I have to edit an xml file), I use notepad++. Unless it's a really simple edit, in which case I use regular notepad.

    On the rare occasion that I'm in a linux environment and I have to edit a text-type file, I use pico/nano, because screw emacs *and* VI. :p

  • On *nix I most use Vim. If I'm not using Python, I'm using C.

  • by RedHackTea ( 2779623 ) on Friday June 27, 2014 @05:14PM (#47336445)
    Quill pen on papyrus. I have a dedicated typist to re-type all of it when I'm done into whatever editor it chooses. I also have a stenographer for when my hand gets tired. I never get compilation errors.
  • I will just leave this here.
  • by BitterOak ( 537666 ) on Friday June 27, 2014 @05:20PM (#47336511)
    Emacs is my editor of choice. As for language, I use whatever best suits the task at hand, most frequently: Perl, Ruby, Java, C, and JavaScript. And if I'm customizing emacs, I use lisp.
  • I use VI and VIM as my editor because as a system administrator, VI was one of 2 editors that were guaranteed to be in Solaris should the system be in a real bad state and in recovery modes. I use perl because it is installed on everything out of the box (Solaris, Red Hat, SUSE, and IRIX all of which I deal with). Python isn't on all those OS's by default (Solaris in particular), which means it might not be on all the systems I deal with. I'm not about to go and write code that I can't run universally on th
  • Where does that fit in your Analyze! spreadsheet?

    • by rossdee ( 243626 )

      When I used to have an Amiga, I used UEdit
      I had to give them up when I came to this country 12 years ago :(
      The euthor, Rick Stiles, died of cancer and the program was released as freeware on fish disks (768-769)
      but I had been a registered user since 1988

  • Joe -is a great editor (he/it) all the features I typically need for small and medium sized software projects.

    • by dfsmith ( 960400 )

      I snidely disparage your use of joe. I use jmacs! Much better*. B-)

      * In the sense that my fingers are not lost when I come across a system that only has emacs installed. Otherwise joe's great.

  • Every Smalltalk programmer programs in the class browser [], and its good friend, the live debugger []. So there's a definite link there. Except for the GNU Smalltalk people who are weird and program in Vim or Emacs.
  • Just a question. Is there anyone out there younger than around 40 who uses VIM because of their own choice? By that I mean, they at first turned on a Unix/Linux box, investigated some editors and chose VIM. Nearly everyone I know who uses VIM uses it because someone else originally made them use it and they stuck with it. I know this sounds like flamebait, but seriously, its an honest question.
    It just seems like Emacs is a lot easier to learn because it one keystroke to get to a menu, and just another to
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Noryungi ( 70322 )

      Here is my problem in the vim-vs-emacs debate:

      Vim is pretty much the standard vi/editor/$VISUAL on every Linux distribution I use. Emacs is usually an extra package. Therefore, vim is installed, while emacs is not.

      Once you have mastered the basic commands of vi, and its mode dichotomy (edit/command) you can edit text in a very efficient manner. Not to mention the goodies of vim, such as "vim -d" or "vim -x". I am so used to vim that, these days, I find myself hitting the Escape key under Word or Firefox. An

      • I'm 37 and use VIM for VHDL development. Most of my coworkers in their 30s use VIM or Emacs, while those in their 20s use Notepad++. This is for hardware engineers; I dunno what software uses.

    • by dwpro ( 520418 )

      I do, but I learned to code on ultrasparcs in the computer lab, so vim was about all that would run. I probably never gave emacs a fair shake in later days, but I never saw a compelling reason to switch and enjoy the benefits of vim (I'm a minimalist at heart). I almost always have an instance of gvim running for quick data manipulation beside visual studios in my daily grind, in addition to the vsvim plugin [] for visual studios. Age 33.

    • You should also rule out people working on remote machines with slow / high latency connections. I tried emacs, various IDEs, but it quickly gets frustrating.

    • by j127 ( 3658485 )
      I picked up Vim on my own while in my early 30s, because I was curious. I had already used Emacs for months, and have tried many other editors for months or years at a time. Vim has a steep learning curve, but it ended up being mind-blowing. It's like connecting your brain directly to the computer. Once you have the muscle memory, you just think something and it happens with a few keystrokes. An experienced Vim user who is serious about learning the editor is probably faster than an experienced Emacs user.
  • These days it's mostly vim, Python, shell, Perl.

    When I really have to do something ''serious'' in Python, I use the free version of PyCharm, with the vim plugin, of course.

    Otherwise, it's nothing but straight vim all day, every day. If not vim, thel elvis. if not elvis, then straight vi or nvi.

  • Visual Studio when doing C# stuff. Eclipse when doing Java stuff. On Linux, vim or notepad++ when doing C stuff or any other random shell junk. On Windows, notepad++ (okay, let's be honest, it's usually just noteBut I always wind up missing Visual Studio. It seems to fit my workflows best, and if it worked well with Java I'd replace Eclipse with it in an instant.

  • I use Emacs and

    1: C++, C, Objective-C
    2: LaTeX
    3: Python
    4: Bash
    5: Text files

    I used to use (also in Emacs):
    1: Java
    2: C#
    3: Fortran

    Emacs works for just about any language out there, I use variety of languages and a variety of different platforms, Emacs is the same on all of them and just works. 2:

  • Joe. For Python, C++, bash, and in days of wretched drudgery for which Larry Wall will surely answer for one day, Perl.

    Ever since the days of Slackware CDs and the Linux 0.98 kernel, I have happily used joe, a Wordstar-like editor with features and size comparable to vim. It's carried me through maintaining 80,000 line C++ codebases and I do my Python work in it quite happily. There are plenty of macro and regex capabilities, block text marking, everything I need without the weight of an IDE.

    There hasn't

    • by dfsmith ( 960400 )

      Here's another good reason to use joe (jmacs for me).

      $ ls -lF --si /usr/bin/emacs23-nox /usr/bin/joe
      -rwxr-xr-x 1 root root 11M Sep 8 2012 /usr/bin/emacs23-nox*
      -rwxr-xr-x 1 root root 462k Oct 6 2011 /usr/bin/joe*

  • When I was doing BASH/C/C++/small-time x86 Assembly (high school/college), it was usually in VIM (for the *nix platform). Nowadays I'm a Windows user (just because software I need runs so much better on it), and utilize a combination of Notepad and Geany (nice little multiplatform editor), doing HTML/CSS/PHP. At the office I use Dreamweaver because, well.. the company paid for it, and it does the job :)

  • I discovered Scite and I'm impressed with what it does. It is open source and you can write C/C++

    I'm sure IDE/Debugger combos can be superior, but not always.
  • by msobkow ( 48369 ) on Friday June 27, 2014 @06:03PM (#47336941) Homepage Journal

    If the editor really matters, you're not much of a programmer. Text is text -- any editor should do.

    Don't confuse relying on IDE crutches with being an editor.

  • Randal L. Schwartz (Floss Weekly [], Schwarzian transform []) would be proud of me.
  • Actually, it's everything and vim, but I usually code in Fortran. After that, bash, Python, a bit of Perl and C.
  • Like some others who have posted here, my choice of editor and language have varied with time.

    • In 1964 I coded in PDP-1 assembly language and my editor was TVedit.
    • In the early 1970s I used PDP-6 assembly language and Stopgap.
    • In the late 1970s I used Bliss-36 and SOS.
    • In the 1980s I used Bliss-32 and EDT.
    • In the 1990s and early 2000s I used DCL and EDT.
    • In the late 2000s and early 2010s I used Perl and Vim.
    • Today I use Python and EMACS.

  • Eclipse :

    * Java
    * XSLT
    * XML (mostly Maven POM files)

    I use the Vrapper plugin for Vim key binding. It's not perfect, alas.

    Komodo Edit:

    * Python
    * Ruby
    * HTML
    * Text
    * XML

    In particular, it's "Fast Open" option is really useful for large folder trees full of many files that you know the names of.

    And it has a Vim keybinding, which isn't perfect, alas.

    Notepad2 :

    For a general fast-open general Notepad replacement on Windows.

    Vim :

    Vim is of course, awesome. I'll be quite pleased if the Neovim project actually succeeds an

  • I use Emacs, mostly. For editing files as root or over SSH I often use vi(m). I still want to switch to vim for all my editing for a few months, just to see if I can get used to it. Don't think I will convert to vim, but I think the only way to get used to an editor (and have non-biased opinion about it) is to use it for a few months (and RTFM, of course). On Windows, several years back, I used TextPad mostly.
  • Brainfuck [] and ED [] because I am a masochist.

  • Nothing else.

  • Editor: EDLIN
    Language: LOGO

  • Copy Con (Score:4, Funny)

    by RatBastard ( 949 ) on Friday June 27, 2014 @06:46PM (#47337263) Homepage

    Copy Con > myjob.bat. Editing is for wimps.

  • C and ARM assembly. Same .el files from circa 1985 or so still work (with (dot) replaced by (point))

    Started with Emacs on the Decsystem-20 in 1980.

  • I use vi for everything, currently c#, shader code, and my work log. If this fucking Internet thing weren't all about these God damned pictures and videos and programs it wants me download to my stupid fucking bloated browser, and I could instead glean the knowledge of the internet in nicely formatted text and download and view all the rest of that bloat at my leisure, I'd be a lot happier with that. I'd like vi to be my input window for this post. I find this whole affair uncomfortably removed from the
  • I use vim in a console window for everything: these days mainly scripts, Java, Python, C

    The one exception recently is Android. But I'm working out a command-line based dev environment for android that lets me use Vim too.

  • by rjkimble ( 97437 ) on Friday June 27, 2014 @07:43PM (#47337667) Homepage Journal

    I mostly do Python, and for that I've moved almost exclusively to JetBrains' PyCharm IDE.

"It takes all sorts of in & out-door schooling to get adapted to my kind of fooling" - R. Frost