We can't discuss vi as part of UNIX culture without acknowledging what is perhaps the longest running debate in the UNIX community,[2 ] vi versus emacs .
Discussions about which is better have cropped up on comp.editors (and other newsgroups) for years and years. You will find summaries of some of these discussions in the ftp archives described above. You will find pointers to more recent versions on the web pages.
Some of the better arguments in favor of vi are:
To be complete, two more items should be mentioned. First, there are actually two versions of emacs that are popular: the original GNU emacs , and xemacs , which is derived from an earlier version of GNU emacs . Both have advantages and disadvantages, and their own sets of devotees.[3 ]
Second, while GNU emacs has always had vi -emulation packages, until recently, they have not been very good. This has changed. The "viper mode" is reputed to be an excellent vi emulation. It can serve as a bridge for learning emacs for those who are interested in doing so.
To conclude, always remember that you are the final judge of a program's utility. You should use the tools that make you the most productive, and for many tasks, vi and its clones are excellent tools.