Favorite Text Editors

Okay, here's a question that's sure to ruffle some feathers... What's the best editor for managing your journals? I've been using both emacs (doom) and neovim (lazyvim) and I think I prefer lazyvim.


Is that a trick question, fellow Emacs user ?? :smile:

Seriously, I would guess Emacs with ledger-mode + flycheck is currently the most featureful setup for editing journals. They all have strengths though. Some people like to use VS Code.

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I only use emacs (doom) for org-mode and hledger journal files… Because of these I learned some emacs. But I feel more comfortable with vim.

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vim. In general I think hledger format is simple and sensible enough that the only really needed convenience is a working cup/paste command.

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Have you created any macros to streamline editing? For example, I’m probably going to create one that toggles unmarked, pending, and cleared.

I haven’t because I don’t yet use many of hledger non-basic features (like clearing). Sharing macros among us is definitely something which will grow the community!

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I mostly use the builtin editor in fava, as most of my trx are imported there is only very limited manual editing, mostly to add some tags or blance entries.


plan9 acme is the greatest editor yet conceived


I don’t even know what that is! :rofl: Time to do a little research and report back.

Okay, back from some research:


A hybrid of window system, shell, and editor, Acme gives text-oriented applications a clean, expressive, and consistent style of interaction. Traditional window systems support interactive client programs and offer libraries of pre-defined operations such as pop-up menus and buttons to promote a consistent user interface among the clients. Acme instead provides its clients with a fixed user interface and simple conventions to encourage its uniform use. Clients access the facilities of Acme through a file system interface; Acme is in part a file server that exports device-like files that may be manipulated to access and control the contents of its windows. Written in a concurrent programming language, Acme is structured as a set of communicating processes that neatly subdivide the various aspects of its tasks: display management, input, file server, and so on.

Acme attaches distinct functions to the three mouse buttons: the left selects text; the middle executes textual commands; and the right combines context search and file opening functions to integrate the various applications and files in the system.

Acme works well enough to have developed a community that uses it exclusively. Although Acme discourages the traditional style of interaction based on typescript windows—teletypes—its users find Acme’s other services render typescripts obsolete.

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If you know how to script, nothing comes close to acme. Although it does rely on the mouse, which wannabe unixers from the 60’s hate (i was one before i found acme), acme is the only editor that i know of that actually uses the mouse well.

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Damn. I 100% understand not using Vim/Neovim. That is I think somewhat fair to hear that but Vimmotion is the greatest thing ever. I personally can’t understand why would anyone not use it, aside from obvious learning curve issue.

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I don’t know what Vimmotion is, and google doesn’t return anything.

Vim is great, so is emacs, but they are tech from the 60/70’s. Acme
proves that the unix philosophy translates to the GUI in a non-trivial
way. It was made in the 90’s by Rob Pike, one of the lead designers of
Golang. I hope one day we will see an editor for the 2000’s.

I appreciate the historical info. I once read about acme and tried it briefly. @captaincurrie you get extra PTA points if you are using it somehow for your accounting ? Any cool examples to share ?

Sorry. I meant Vim motions. You can use Vim motions(moving with hjkl, w, b…) with other editors or anything that supports them. I use Vimium on my browser so that I can move around a webpage only with a keyboard for example.

Ahh. You must be liking the j/k keys and other Tip: Keyboard Shortcuts on this site then. :slight_smile:

Hmm didn’t know j/k was natively supported! Vimium usually overrides everything so I don’t notice something like that so much.

I love Vimium’s f key. You can click anything without using that normie pointer device :nerd_face:

The greatness of Acme is that it simply provides an environment for
you to use your scripts. It’s basically a kind of terminal.

So its not a question of what acme can do, its a question of what can my
programs do - acme just provides the space to use them in.

check out qutebrowser

While I use Emacs with my PTA files, I wish that another text editor had succeeded in the marketplace. Specifically, it is KEDIT, based on XEDIT. I really like the way it uses the command line.

However, for my hledger use, I use Emacs, mostly because ledger-mode adds some great functionality.

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