When comparing SciTE vs Emacs, the Slant community recommends Emacs for most people. In the question“What are the best programming text editors?” Emacs is ranked 8th while SciTE is ranked 13th. The most important reason people chose Emacs is:
Emacs can be controlled entirely with the keyboard.
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Based on the Scintilla source code editor, SciTE has some advanced features like rectangular editing, simple regular expression search and replace, code folding, etc. It allows the user to launch a compiler or interpreter, and it can also interpret the error messages, jumping at the location they point to.
Lua scripting is key to SciTE's power and flexibility. The Lua scripting language can be used to perform complex text transformations. It's relatively simple syntax and its large user-base makes it a great choice for a scripting feature.
It's property files allow for fine tweaks of its behavior, at a global or per language / project level. These textual settings might be confusing for those used to preference dialogs, but prove to be powerful, flexible, and fine grained.
With less than 2 MB of binary on Windows, SciTE starts instantly. Plus, if you don't need all the config, syntax files, blah, there's a 678k standalone .exe version. Nothing is going to beat that for lightweight and start-up times. Stick it in a folder that is already on your PATH.
Pro Built-in shell
The console window can show the result of ran commands (like build current file, reporting warnings, and errors), but also accept interactive shell commands.
SciTE works on Windows and Linux, and it also has a commercial port on MacOS.
Pro Powerful syntax highlighting for numerous languages
Lexers providing folding and syntax highlighting are based on code, not on regular expressions. They support context, nesting, special rules, etc.
Pro Free (except on Mac) and open source
SciTE is written in C++, with lot of contributors, both to the core and to the numerous lexers.
Has a simple graphical user interface
Pro Keyboard-focused, mouse-free editing
Emacs can be controlled entirely with the keyboard.
Pro Total customizability
Customizations can be made to a wide range of Emacs' functions through a Lisp dialect (Emacs Lisp). A robust list of existing Lisp extensions include the practical (git integration, syntax highlighting, etc) to the utilitarian (calculators, calendars) to the sublime (chess, Eliza).
Pro It's also an IDE
You can debug, compile, manage files, integrate with version control systems, etc. All through the various plugins that can be installed.
Pro Works in terminal or as a GUI application
You can use Emacs' command line interface or graphical user interface.
Pro Self documenting
Emacs has extensive help support built-in as well as a tutorial accessed with C-h t.
Pro Great documentation
With 30+ years of use the Emacs documentation is very thorough. There are also a lot of tutorials and guides written by third parties.
Licensed under GNU GPL.
Pro Mini buffer
You can pass complicated arguments in the mini buffer.
Pro Vi keybindings through Evil mode
Evil mode emulates vim behaviors within Emacs. It enables Vi users to move inside the Emacs universe.
Fully compliant GNU-emacs is available on many platforms, and they all understand .emacs configuration files.
Pro Rectangular cut and paste
Emacs can select rectangularly.
Pro Visual selection and text objects with Evil
Evil is an extensible vi layer for Emacs. It provides Vim features like Visual selection and text objects.
Pro Lisp customizations
With lisp customization, any behavior of Emacs can be changed. Update with pre-release patch can be also applied without recompiling the whole Emacs.
Pro dabbrev-expand (Alt-/)
Dynamic word completion.
Pro Support multi-line editing, multiple frame, powerful paren, crazy jumping style
Review the "Emacs Rocks" video.
Pro Has been widely used for a long time
Pro Provides org-mode
Advanced planning and publication which can start as a simple list.
Pro Helm plugin adds even more power to Emacs
Powerful commands, search, and more with the Helm plugin.
Pro GTK+ widgets support
Works on Linux, Windows, Macintosh, BSD, and others.
Pro Enormous range of functionalities (way beyond simple "text editing")
Through its programmability, a very broad range of functionalities can be integrated in emacs, turning it even into a "single point of contact" with the underlying operating system.
Pro Integrates planning in your development process
You can jump straight from your org-mode files to programming tasks - and back - and build a seamless workflow.
Con Hard to config
The configuration is mainly a file-based config, which can be unintuitive and difficult to use for new users.
Con Missing file browser
SciTE's greatest weakness is perhaps the file browser. It does not really have one, just a poor substitute which works a little bit like a terminal window with
dir commands to show the files in a directory.
No extensions, Themes.
Con Learning curve is long
While it's better than it used to be, with most functions being possible through the menu, Emacs is still quite a bit different from your standard editor. You'll need to learn new keyboard shortcuts.
Con Sometimes the extensibility can distract you from your actual work
If I ever want to lose half a day, I'll start by tweaking my .spacemacs config file.
Con Chorded keyboard combinations can be baffling
For example, for navigation it uses the b, n, p, l keys. Which for some people may seem strange. But don't worry, you can change it.