Emacs undo trees

I've said it before: undo in Emacs is horrible. On the other hand, undo in Vim is awesome.

But this is true no longer. Now there are undo trees for Emacs! Yes, this news is so important I had to italicize and bold it. It's like Emacs has been punching me in the face for years, and today I got it to stop. I never thought I'd see the day.

And it works great too. You can even view the tree visually and navigate it with the cursor keys, which is a step up on what Vim offers out of the box.

Emacs undo trees

In other news, Vim 7.3 is out and it now has persistent undo across reloads. It's like an arms race, and gleeful hackers reap the benefits.

August 17, 2010 @ 7:06 AM PDT
Cateogory: Programming
Tags: Emacs, Vim, Undo

4 Comments

Nathan
Quoth Nathan on August 17, 2010 @ 12:06 PM PDT

How the heck did this take thirty years?

Mike H
Quoth Mike H on August 19, 2010 @ 5:17 AM PDT

How the heck did this take thirty years?

Well, the text editor is a minor app in the Emacs operating system... Seriously, though, the vanilla Emacs undo is probably well ahead of most editors and a lot of people don't feel that they suffer from the problems that Brian has with it. I've used Emacs more or less daily for more than a decade and I tend to use the undo quite a bit, and it hasn't bothered me. The tree looks interesting, though.

Christian
Quoth Christian on August 23, 2010 @ 6:12 PM PDT

It is now in the Emacs overlay for Gentoo.

Steve Losh
Quoth Steve Losh on October 18, 2010 @ 7:20 AM PDT

I figured I'd do my part in the arms race, so I wrote an undo tree visualizer for Vim too.

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