vile: That child is an abomination!

Depending on your allegiances, this screenshot is likely to make you howl with maniacal laughter, curse the heavens, or vomit uncontrollably.


Of course, if you have no allegiances (like me), then it doesn’t bother you at all.

That’s vile, which is understood to be an acronym for vi-like emacs. If you are a true believer of either of the vi/vim or emacs camps, the very notion of combining them into a hybrid application is likely to be heresy.

To be clear though, as I understand it, vile hopes to merge vi specifically with some of the emacs superstructure, so it may be that it is forgiven for trying to add on to what the ancient editor could do.

I don’t think it’s necessary to delve too deep into vile to see how it attempts to merge some of the features of both editors. Even the startup screen will cue you in, with the status line listing two or three ways — some very emacs, and some very vi — of accessing the help pages.

But that’s about all I’m going to relate about vile. I happen to belong to that third camp which says both of the prevalent editors are unworthy, and anything else is an improvement.

So the idea of merging vi and emacs strikes me as a completely pointless exercise. Neither of them is that great to start with, and their unholy offspring is not any clear winner.

“The mystery of life isn’t a problem to solve, but a reality to experience.” πŸ˜‰

5 thoughts on “vile: That child is an abomination!

  1. Eric Fraga

    Not pointless at all! I use evil (not vile; evil works better in my experience) within emacs all the time. I started using it because I do everything in emacs but I also suffer from RSI and the emacs key combinations were hurting. vi’s action-object paradigm and modal modes are much easier to use when trying to avoid multiple key combinations.

    Of course, whether you like emacs or not is another story. For me, emacs is essentially my window manager if not my operating system…

    Anyway, thanks for an ever entertaining and useful blog!

    1. K.Mandla Post author

      Ah, well that’s good, I’m glad it’s not the red-headed stepchild of the vim-emacs collision. πŸ˜‰ I’d hate to think it was unloved in all quarters. :mrgreen:

    1. K.Mandla Post author

      Not that I’m aware of, but it’s hard to tell who influenced who in the overall net of software evolution. If there’s a connection, I don’t know about it. πŸ˜‰

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