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Hi Lobsters,

I really like my Surface Go 128gb. It is tiny and underpowered but it is compact, easy to carry and I kinda am in love with the form factor. Using an electron-powered editor is the common option these days but I’d really want to use something that uses less resources. Do anyone here have some recommendation? Anyone has experience running vim or emacs (I prefer emacs) under Windows 10?

I have a license for sublime text and that might be what I end up using but to be honest, I never really enjoyed it much.

Thanks for any tip or link

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    There are official 64bit builds of GNU Emacs for Windows, and they work very well in my experience. If you’re already familiar with Emacs that seems like the obvious choice.

    If you want a fast, Windows-native editor then I think most people would recommend Notepad++.

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      Think I’m gonna give it a try again.

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      vim (gvim) or Neovim-Qt work very well on Windows.

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        Some things feel weird in Windows, and a lot of plugins are broken though. Cygwin fixed it, but feels like a lot of overhead for a slowish tablet. :(

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          I’m trying to avoid cygwin, still, I am tempted to try vim or neovim.

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            What’s wrong with cygwin?

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              there is nothing technically wrong with cygwin. It is just personal taste, I prefer using other solutions. I know this might not be the reasoning you’re looking for, I think cygwin, msys2, all those projects are fantastic but when using Windows 10, I try to prefer windows native solution cygwin always felt too intrusive for me, to use a unix-like environment in windows I prefer WSL.

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        I actually quite like Notepad++ on Windows. VS Code might be worth a try since it’s a bit less resource-hungry than Sublime, but if you don’t like Sublime you probably won’t like Code either.

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          Is sublime resource heavy? I never noticed, but it’s absolutely my go-to on Windows. VS Code is pretty snappy for an Electron app, but not something I’ve managed to adjust to. Notepad++ always felt so cluttered, and the auto-prompts just get in the way. Notepad2, on the other hand, is pretty light, but there’s not much to it. GNU Emacs on Windows is less than ideal…but org-mode.

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            I find sublime text really good when doing simple plain text or markdown but the plugin system looks clunky to me and I had plugins going crazy and maxing my CPU. Why you think emacs on windows is less than ideal?

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              Honestly, I’ve only used the plugins for simple things in Sublime, I generally rely on core features and then really just for quickly popping open source and getting decent highlighting. Basically, anything that’s too small to open Visual Studio (not Code) or IntelliJ. Basically, notepad on steroids. For that, it works perfectly.

              I really want to like Emacs on windows. I use it on a Mac for org-mode, note taking, etc. I’m using a gnu build on Windows, vanilla, without anything like prelude or spacemacs, and I just find it so slow. I’ve found spacemacs to be a bit laggy. Admittedly, part of that is workflow. I’m accustomed to popping open an editor and closing it when I’ve finished. This apparently works when running emacs as client/server (i.e., emacs-client), but I haven’t gone that route yet.

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          I use Emacs under Windows 10, and it works fine for me. I synchronise my .emacs.d settings folder between Windows and Linux using git.

          For a native GUI Windows text editor, EditPad Pro is my go-to when I don’t want to learn how to do something with Emacs. There’s also a free version available. To me, it feels a more refined version of Notepad++.

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            I might try emacs on windows again. When I had a Surface 3 non-pro, it was unusable due to the slow HDD. I find emacs kinda disk heavy (specially spacemacs).

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              Eight Megabytes And Constantly Swapping.

              Some things never change.

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            As others have said: If you know either Emacs or Vim then use that, else just use Sublime Text because as far as I’m concerned there are no other fast text editors on Windows (You’ve got Notepad++ but imho if you have a license then ST is much better).

            Visual Studio Code is great in some cases but yeah, it’s noticeable slower sometimes.

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              Sublime is so broken and featureless. Why not just use something minimal like notepad++ at that point? VSCode is pretty good, though.

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              I use an HP Stream which has about half the storage and half the CPU of a Surface Go. I bought it because I was comfortable with vim, so I knew I didn’t need beefy hardware to do my most frequent tasks.

              One thing I learned about vim recently is there’s a “–startuptime ” option which logs information about how plugins etc contribute to launch time. On recent Windows 10 builds specifically, I see the command line version of vim take a relatively long time to start because it’s saving the console buffer, and changes to the console make this operation more expensive than before. So performance can be improved by keeping the console buffer size small (ie., 2000 lines of history rather than the default 9000), or even using the “use legacy console” option.

              That said, I’d agree with the other comments that you should use something you’re comfortable with.

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                I had no trouble running Neovim on a Surface 4.

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                  Isn’t neovim using electron?

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                  OP here, I decided to try emacs on windows. Made a copy of a emacs.d I found pretty and am customizing it bit by bit to suit me as a JS developer since it was geared towards creative writing (something that is also dear to me). It is looking like this: https://monosnap.com/file/yqLZyizSQKTH2bHmfibZqoa3SPwwwZ

                  I just need to learn more about how to integrate my JS workflows into it now. It takes about 11s to start on my Surface Go but that is ok with me. I don’t mind waiting, it gives me time to ponder what I am actually doing.

                  Thanks for all the help. I also have Sublime Text here as a fallback if I can’t work out how to use emacs properly.

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                    Yo. I just got a Surface Go 128 today w/ LTE and it’s awesome. I have a Samsung Galaxy S4 and the current iPad Pro as well, and tbh I think this thing is overall more useful (although the iPad is better for entertainment).

                    Something like VS Code is probably best for this, I think, although I wish there was better Vim support in Windows…

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                      As others have said: If you know either Emacs or Vim then use that, else just use Sublime Text because as far as I’m concerned there are no other fast text editors on Windows (You’ve got Notepad++ but imho if you have a license then ST is much better).

                      Visual Studio Code is great in some cases but yeah, it’s noticeable slower sometimes.