Who doesn’t know the holy wars between Emacs and Vim, the most advanced text editors? “Vim is lighter”, “Emacs is more configurable”, “Vim is more productive”, “Emacs can have everything you can imagine”… If you believe, like me, that both sides are right, Spacemacs is your text editor. Like they say in their website: The best editor is neither Emacs nor Vim, it’s Emacs and Vim!
What is Spacemacs?
Spacemacs is a community-driven Emacs distribution that takes the best from Vim and Emacs, organizing everything for the user. You can configure everything, of course, but Spacemacs does most of the work so you have all the support you need for your programming languages and databases.
In your first run, Spacemacs will ask you if you prefer Emacs mode or Vim mode (Evil mode is my option), including what type of autocomplete system you want to use. If you know how to use Emacs or Vim, you can work without problems, but even if you are completely new in this kind of editors, Spacemacs has built-in tutorials, documentation and one of the best things ever: the Space key.
When you press Space, a comfortable legend appears on the bottom of the screen, showing you a lot of combinations that you can use easily without knowing how Vim and Emacs work. The name of the editor has a doble meaning, one referring to the outer space (because they try to make a modern and yet productive editor) and other referring to that special key.
The configuration is found in ~/.spacemacs, very easy to access. Once you add your preferences, the next time you run Spacemacs everything will be updated. Most programming languages have an excelent support; you only have to add the name of the language in dotspacemacs-configuration-layers. If you want some examples for inspiration, you can check out my configuration in my Github repo.
Installing Spacemacs is very simple. First you need Emacs; in my case, as I use Arch Linux, I run this in a terminal:
sudo pacman -S emacs
After that, we have to run this:
git clone https://github.com/syl20bnr/spacemacs ~/.emacs.
Then we open Emacs, a few questions will be asked to us, everything will be installed and finally we’ll have the best text editor ever, Spacemacs!