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After a Week, I Must Begrudgingly Admit VSCode Is a Better Editor Than Emacs

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After a Week, I Must Begrudgingly Admit VSCode Is a Better Editor Than Emacs

There's never really one right answer for which code editor to choose. A lot of times, it comes down to preference. See why one dev decided to go with VSCode.

· Web Dev Zone ·
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10 years of love for Emacs undone by a week in VSCode.

Last week, I wrote about Why I won't be switching to VSCode anytime soon. Then Cunningham's law kicked in, I learned about some killer features, got tips on some config, and gave VSCode another chance.

That was the one. The feature that made me try VSCode for real. You can hover over any function or variable, press command, and see its definition in a little popup. Or jump straight to the code.

I think I have the perfect config going, and I'd share it with you, but I don't know how. Mainly I focused on getting a clean interface where code dominates.

A blank slate with a bunch of code. The status bar is subtle, no activity bar, no cruft to the left or right of the code. No ugly vertical lines showing indentation.

Change indicators still show up as subtle green or blue lines.

It's great.

Here's some stuff that still annoys me:

  • Tabs are huge, and there doesn't seem to be a config for that.
  • Pressing Tab inserts a tab.
  • Changing Tab to "line indent" works okay-ish, but not quite. I'd like to indent to automatic correct indentation instead of having to press it multiple times. When the cursor is in indent space, using tab should jump to the beginning of the line, when the cursor is in code space, tab should indent or do nothing.
  • I installed Emacs keybindings to preserve muscle memory, and now the jump-to-line shortcut doesn't work.
  • The cmd+P magic search can be annoyingly dumb sometimes, and the UI struggles with long file paths. It shows beginning of the path instead of the important stuff.
  • The cmd+O shortcut isn't context aware. Opens the UI at the last visited folder instead of at the current file.
  • No good shortcut for "jump back to previous file" that I can find.
web dev ,vscode ,code editor ,emacs

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