Hacker News new | past | comments | ask | show | jobs | submit login

Can you point me to some documentation from atom or sublime, where they explain which kinds of selections you can make? I wasn't aware that certain editors seem to have many modes of selection, and a quick web search doesn't reveal very much. I'd like to be able to make a comparison with vim's text objects and movements. My gut feeling tells me that vim will still have more "targets" for a command, and more accurate ones, but I'm biased.

But the "select text and then apply command", as I understand it, still has a major drawback compared to vim's way of working : the dot-command. In vim, you go "daa" (delete an argument - i.e. delete the argument, including the comma which separates it, if you have the vim-angry plugin). Then you move to another argument, you just press dot, and the same thing happens.

Also, does the selection thing accept counts?

I should stop talking about editors I don't use. Let me focus on Emacs with some comments about Textadept (I've never used Atom and only tried Sublime Text for a day).

1. Yes, the ability to repeat with dot is advantage of the Vim model. Emacs just repeats the command part not the marking part too, not as useful as dot in Vim!

2. In Emacs every command accepts counts, just like Vim. Textadept doesn't offer counts, I believe. I think counts are probably an advantage of Vim and Emacs over most(?) other editors.

3. About Vim having more motions & text objects: Probably, but Emacs is close. Without extra packages you have: words, symbols and S-expressions (the names come from Lisp but these do something sensible in most languages: Symbol is usually identifier and S-expression is something like delimited expression: A string, a parenthesized expression, a block in curly braces or brackets, etc.), lines, sentences, and paragraphs. Texts packages add other targets like LaTeX environment. One thing definitely lacking in Emacs is that Vim usually offers two variants that differ slightly at the ends (like w vs e, or i( vs a(), those minor variations are pretty useful.

My point is just the saying other editors don't have the ability to combine commands with different things to operate on is obviously false, and claiming is unlikely to convert anytime to Vim. Instead Vim bloggers should focus on how Vim makes the basic composability idea even better with things like counts, repeatability of composed commands, and richer set of selection commands.

Regarding 1. Emacs does have keyboard macros. A bit more involved than just hitting dot, but they do let you compose an arbitrary sequence of operations (including selection) that can be repeated or saved and applied later.

it's the "a bit more involved" that makes it very weak in comparison. The power of the dot command is exactly that it takes one single keystroke to repeat the last action. You don't have to think in advance "I may want to repeat this action, let's add some keystrokes to store this in a macro." You don't have to push a few keys to repeat the action, just one single key.

Guidelines | FAQ | Support | API | Security | Lists | Bookmarklet | Legal | Apply to YC | Contact