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Re: Emacs's popularity

From: Andreas Politz
Subject: Re: Emacs's popularity
Date: Tue, 16 Dec 2008 17:56:57 +0100
User-agent: Mozilla-Thunderbird (X11/20081018)

Phil Carmody wrote:
"Lennart Borgman" <address@hidden> writes:
On Mon, Dec 15, 2008 at 11:28 PM, Richard Riley <address@hidden> wrote:

But Vim is not only installed; it's really used a lot. In Debian Vim has
always been a bit more popular than Emacs but in the first half of 2007
Vim really got popular (around Vim 7.1 and Debian 4.0 release). This
"used actively" graph compares vim-common, emacs21-bin-common and
emacs22-bin-common packages:
That is a bit strange since the vi emulator Viper in Emacs is now so good.

Not strange at all Lennart, Why would someone run the Emacs OS to run
emulated vim  when they can run the real thing in 100th of the
Exactly why do you think the footprint matter?

1 vote for 'emacs has a large footprint, and that matters to me'. My machine
has 128MB RAM. Emacs 21 is pretty OK, but 22 uses noticeably more memory,
which is my most limited resource.

Exactly why do you think that it doesn't matter?

But it's not just RAM footprint where emacs compares unfavourably to vim, in fact, RAM-wise it's not a huge difference, only about a couple of megs difference. Far more importantly is the CPU footprint. Emacs 21 takes 3 times as long to start up as vim does on a large plain text file (so no syntax highlighting or anything being done). Emacs 22 takes even longer, in particular as the loading was interrupted with a "that's a big file, are you sure?" prompt.

Can you imagine vim-proponents not looking at these times (averaged over
3 runs, after everything was in the cache) with a sense of pride?

   vim  emacs21 emacs22
 0.004    0.10    0.20   = start with no file, quit
 0.18     0.58    0.62   = start with 12MB file, quit
 ????     0.59    0.66   = start with no file, open 12MB file, quit

The command to open a <file> is ':edit <file>'.

(didn't know how to open a file from within vim, as it's utterly illucid.)

In which case, why shouldn't we emacs proponents look on them with a sense
of shame? More than 3 times slower - is that not shameful?


Here are a couple more numbers :

$ time vim -c 'quit'

real    0m0.226s
user    0m0.112s
sys     0m0.048s

Processed lines of vimscript : 18867
(According to the vim command :scriptnames)*

$ time emacs -nw -Q '(kill-emacs)'

real    0m0.234s
user    0m0.168s
sys     0m0.036s

Processed lines of byte compiled elisp : 50717
(According to load-histoy)*

* and 'wc -l'

I took the best out of 3 trys.

Note I was a heavy vim user, so I got lots of vimscripts
around. If you start vim w/o anything loaded (e.g. in compatible
mode) or a bare minimum (e.g. just a simple ~/.vimrc) it'll be
ligthning fast. Maybe you can try and load emacs with a nil
load-history ?

However, vim is completely written in C with an optional
interpreter for it's own extension language (you can start
editing in vim w/o reading a single line of vimscript), it'll
always be faster, in some sense of 'faster'.

I don't know how far you'll get in emacs using only
the c level functions, probablly not far.


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