An old vim user: This is the trap of the Catholics.Whenever I visit a website or read a book which says something about any editor, its mostly about emacs or vim and most of them talk about emacs only.
A somewhat-old vim user trying emacs: Now *sigh* I want to be a Protestant again.
I have been reading a lot about emacs so I thought why don't give it a shot. I want to tell you that I have been using vim from quite long, almost two years now, since I started writing code. I wrote the first "hello world" of my life in vim, and it was really a very good experience.
So lets try emacs. I typed
emacson my terminal and what I got was a separate window of the powerful rhino with a very neat look and a lot of options to manipulate text on its Toolbar a lot like GVim. I played with it for a while and then tried to know more about it. I started its tutorial to know it's basics.
First thing its tutorial teaches you is the movement of the cursors on the screen. Its straight C-p, C-n, C-f, C-b are used to move the cursor to the previous line, next line, one character forward on the same line and one character backwards respectively. The same movement of the cursor in Vim is achieved using k, j, l, h. You can also use the arrow keys to move the cursor but it is recommended to use the other key combinations so that while editing you won't have to move your fingers away from the touch-typing position of the keyboard. These key combinations, both of Vim and emacs, let you move the cursor very fast throughout your text.
But truly, I don't like the C-p, C-n, C-f, C-b of emacs because you have to hold the C or the Ctrl key of the keyboard for all the time. My little finger started aching after a while. Moreover the characters p, n, f and b are scattered on the typing pad far-far away from each other. You can't really use these key combinations unless You really have long fingers (thank god my fingers are long enough). You actually have to wrestle with the keyboard while using these key combinations.
With a lot of pain in my fingers I was still going through *the mighty* emacs Tutorial. There a are several jobs in emacs which can be done in the Vim in fewer key strokes. Two to tell you are C-L (Ctrl-Shift-l) these are three keys to put the current line under the cursor in the middle of the window in Vim you have to use zz and to view the next and previous screen full of text in emacs you have C-v and M-v (M is your Meta or Alt or Esc key) the same thing in Vim is done using PageUp and PageDown keys.
I really don't want to talk about which editor is superior. You use what You have been using and what suits Your needs more. There is no point in learning to use a new editor when you already know a lot about the other one. Moreover there a lot of features in both Vim and emacs both which We won't use in our entire coding career.