SpaceVim vs SpaceMacs

SpaceVim seems to be gaining in features and popularity and I just wondered how it compares with SpaceMacs in 2020 - anyone have any thoughts?

1 Like

As the author of SpaceVim, I want to say spacemacs is a awesome project, the idea of spacemacs is nice. but evil is not really vim.

I do not use emacs, my first editor is vim, now I am using neovim.


Thanks for your input! Pretty valuable. :+1:

I started disliking Emacs lately even though I am using it ever since the beginning of 2002. It’s too slow. :frowning:

One thing I could never like about VIM is that it has to run in a console – but I hear this is no longer the case.

Could you recommend a full-blown GUI for VIM? I am open to giving it a fair try (read: several weeks or even months working in parallel with Emacs). I really am sick and tired of slow tools and I’d love to move to something snappier. And I hear VIM is better in this regard.

(BTW, the OCaml VIM scripts are insanely slow as well. They add something like 3 seconds lag on a server-grade CPU with 10 cores / 20 threads. I suspect the slowdown is not from a CPU load but slowness in following symlinks or, some I/O bottleneck in general. But never pursued it.)


Have you tried MacVim :nerd_face:


brew install MacVim

I have instructions here: but was going to ask @wsdjeg how SpaceVim compares with Janus and whether SpaceVim can be use with MacVim at all - any thoughts Wang?

1 Like

I did, and for some reason it was slow and kind of buggy. But then I had a pretty huge init file downloaded from the net so that was probably it. I am willing to give it another go.

That being said, I plan to mostly use VIM on Linux though. Still not sure on which graphical environment – for now I am on GNOME 3 since I use Ubuntu 20.04 but I’ll likely go back to Unity or even XFCE 4.


MacVim has always worked really well for me …perhaps that version was the issue? I’d definitely try it again as it includes native commands like CMD C and is generally more like a proper macOS ‘app’.


Yep, that’s what I am looking for: a GUI for an editor that interacts well with the native desktop environment. Thanks, I’ll give it a go again.

Spacemacs is awesome but I was kind of disappointed to learn that its main purpose was to emulate VIM. :smiley: So I’d like to drink from the source one day.


MacVim is definitely worth a go :smiley:

I have some old blog posts about it:

Unfortunately the formatting has broken since upgrading the theme…


Yeah, SpaceVim has lang#ruby layer, here is a guide: Use vim as a Ruby IDE. I do not use Janus, but I think it should works well, as the developers of that project also use ruby.

The full-GUI vim?

I am using gvim and neovim-qt.

If you are looking for another gui vim, maybe you can have a try with:

  1. fvim:
  2. goneovim:

When I was on Linux os, I use i3-wm with termite.


Can you use termite with tmux btw?


Yeah, of cause, termite is just a terminal app. you can run tmux in it.


If I would spot this circa 10 years ago, when I was starting to use Vim my mai editor, then I would probably be amazed. However nowadays I wholeheartedly disagree with basic idea of these projects - sharing editor configuration. Instead I prefer (and advocate) to write your own configuration, let’s be honest, it is not that hard. These projects are nice as long as:

  • everything works
  • your workflow is similar to authors

If any of these points is not true (or at some point became not true), then you will (pick one):

  • drop the editor, as “it do not works like I want” (and probably later rant about it in the internet)
  • create GitHub issue and wait till it is resolved by someone (probably never) and in the meantime use “workaround”
  • learn configuration language yourself, which mean, that you didn’t need the “framework” in the first place

It is especially annoying when later I need to explain people that Vim has built-in completions (yes, many of them) and difference between completion and autocompletion. Or any other similar stuff, like building project from within Vim, running tests, file browsing, project navigation, status line, tabs vs buffers, etc.


I agree that configuring your editor yourself is probably best… but things like Janus and SpaceVim are great for newbies or those who would configure their editors in a similar way anyway :smiley:

Perhaps you could do a blog post on configuring Vim, Łukasz? I want to try again - my last attempt didn’t quite go as well as I’d have liked…

1 Like

Maybe, when I will find time between work and being parent.

1 Like