The key differences between these two editors lie in their command sets and their approach to editing files. The vi editor is a modal editor, in which you are either in edit mode, typing characters into a file, or in command mode, moving around in the file or executing commands on portions of the file. The emacs editor is a modeless editor in which you are always in edit mode — you use special key sequences known as control and escape sequences to move around in or execute commands on portions of the file. The arguments between devotees of the two editors and approaches to editing text are legendary, and we shall not get into those discussions here.
See Chapter 11 for more details on these text editors and the similarities and differences between them.
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