IDE Question

jdd jeremiah.dodds at
Wed Oct 15 20:44:59 CEST 2008

On Oct 15, 2:13 pm, "Fabio Zadrozny" <fabi... at> wrote:
> Now, following that route, many people call Eclipse is the 21st
> century Emacs... ;-)

I don't want to kick off an editor war or anything, but I don't think
that Eclipse is anywhere near being a 21st century emacs, unless
there's been a whole lot of progress with it since the last time I
used it. With emacs, I can have multiple files open in one window,
with the window split (I don't remember eclipse being able to do this,
although it allowed multiple files in their own tabs), and I can
customize the actions of the editor on the fly, without restarting it,
in a variant of LISP. That may be possible in Eclipse, I don't really

I used to use Eclipse and pydev, but once I learned my way around
emacs, I haven't gone back to it for anything. I probably would if I
did any coding in Java - but I don't. I'm exponentially more
productive with emacs while writing python code than I ever was with

Add to that the degree to which emacs is customizable (just about
everything that the editor does can be customized, you can jump
quickly to the source of the functions you're running while editing,
you can easily patch behavior in before or after specific function
calls, you can easily define keyboard macros and bind them to
keystrokes, and / or save them for future use, you can easily create
keystrokes that correspond to interactive filling out of templates -
"skeletons", etc), and I really don't see how someone could think that
Eclipse is anywhere near being a replacement for emacs.

Not to mention that I don't need to have X installed to run emacs if I
don't need it.

I may be wrong about the capabilities of Eclipse, as I haven't used it
in about a year, and emacs certainly has it's own set of quirks and
annoyances - one of which being the very steep learning curve.

Watching the screencasts linked in the blog post you linked to, I
might prefer Eclipse to emacs if I wasn't very used to never touching
a mouse, or if I was developing under windows. With my editing mindset
the way it is right now, when I see that, I just see a lot of wasted
screen space, and a lot of wasted time doing things like intellisense.
Also, the blog post didn't really give any reasons as to _why_ the
person switched over, other than that they were impressed with

Meh, I'm not talking trash on Eclipse - it's a fine tool if it fits
how you work with text / code. It's just not for me, and I would feel
crippled while using it if I switched back to it. I used IDEs like
that for a few years, but after about a month and a half of using
emacs, I haven't looked back. I even use it as my IRC client when I
jump on IRC.

I do think that people should try a variety of styles of editors to
find what works best for them though - although it does take a lot of
time to learn your way around 3 or 4 different editors, once you find
what fits with you, you will probably get a huge boost in productivity.

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