When comparing nano vs Kakoune, the Slant community recommends Kakoune for most people. In the question“What are the best programming text editors?” Kakoune is ranked 11th while nano is ranked 27th.
Ranked in these QuestionsQuestion Ranking
Pro Easy to use
Nano includes only the bare minimum of functionality needed to edit documents making it very simple.
Pro Built-in cheat sheet for shortcuts
All command characters are shown at the bottom of the editor.
Pro Available on almost every Linux system as default
Almost like vi (vim), you can find nano on most Unix-like systems.
Pro Lightweight and bug free
Very stable editor that never hang / leak or crash
Pro Most of the languages supported
Syntax coloring is available for most of the programming language.
Pro More modern than vim
Pro Good UNIX citizen
It follows the UNIX philosophy by doing one thing well (text editing) and interfaces nicely with other CLI tools.
Pro Text selection mechanism
Kakoune works on selections, which are oriented, inclusive range of characters, selections have an anchor and a cursor character. Most commands move both of them, except when extending selection where the anchor character stays fixed and the cursor one moves around.
Pro Will be familiar to vim users
Kakoune first started as a rewrite from scratch of vim, but then ended up being another text editor altogether. So it's inspired in a lot of ways from vim.
Pro Very expressive
Kakoune provides a very expressive set of commands, including various objects selection (paragraph, blocks, words), alignment support, conditional selection filtering...
This set of command is expressive enough to implement all the provided auto indentation logic.
Pro Actively developed and supported
A helper pops up when typing commands.
Pro Simpler and more consistent than Vim
Some keys select, other keys operate on the selections.
Shift is used to extend the selection,
alt is used for alternative behavior, e.g. reverse the search direction. No inconsistencies like
Y which means
yy and not
y$ in Vim.
Con Limited feature set
While nano is fine for writing emails and blog posts, it's probably not a good editor for programmers or really anyone that needs an editor more than once in a while.
Con Individual keybindings
You have to learn keybindings especially for Nano.
Con Small community
Con No real Windows support
Will compile under CygWin.