When comparing Emacs vs Editra, the Slant community recommends Emacs for most people. In the question“What are the best programming text editors?” Emacs is ranked 9th while Editra is ranked 72nd. The most important reason people chose Emacs is:
Emacs can be controlled entirely with the keyboard. While true, I often find the mouse and menus handy for those lesser-used commands. An aide-memoir.
Ranked in these QuestionsQuestion Ranking
Pro Keyboard-focused, mouse-free editing
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.
Licensed under GNU GPL.
Pro Self documenting
Emacs has extensive help support built-in as well as a tutorial accessed with C-h t.
Pro Works in terminal or as a GUI application
You can use Emacs' command line interface or graphical user interface.
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.
Fully compliant GNU-emacs is available on many platforms, and they all understand .emacs configuration files.
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 Provides org-mode
Advanced planning and publication which can start as a simple list.
Pro Mini buffer
You can pass complicated arguments in the mini buffer.
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 Rectangular cut and paste
Emacs can select rectangularly.
Pro Vi keybindings through Evil mode
Evil mode emulates vim behaviors within Emacs. It enables Vi users to move inside the Emacs universe.
Pro Has been widely used for a long time
The first verion of Emacs was written in 1974 and GNU Emacs in 1984.
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 Support multi-line editing, multiple frame, powerful paren, crazy jumping style
Review the "Emacs Rocks" video.
Works on Linux, Windows, Macintosh, BSD, and others.
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.
Pro Helm plugin adds even more power to Emacs
Powerful commands, search, and more with the Helm plugin.
Emacs is great for everything.
Pro GTK+ widgets support
Pro Excelent tutorial to get you started
The tutorial you are presented with at startup shows you exactly what you need to get started and teaches you how to use the built-in help yourself later.
Pro Interactive Shells
Emacs has a number of shell variants: ansi-term, shell, and eshell.
Managing several large mailing lists has never been easier using Gnus. The threading commands and the various ways of scoring articles means that I never miss important messages/authors, etc. A joy to use.
Pro eshell is cross platform
You can use the underlying operating system shell as a terminal emulation in an Emacs buffer. Don't like the default shell for your configuration? You can change it to your liking.
Pro Excellent Lisp editing support
Built-in packages make editing Lisp source code feel natural.
Pro use-package and org-mode
Missing some neural package that predicts actions
Maybe in the next release ...
Pro Very customizable
Pro Small and portable
Editra's small size makes it extremely fast and portable. It can be uploaded in a USB drive and be used on the go.
Editra can open more than 60 different types of source code, each with syntax highlighting and many other features. It also has many widgets that can be installed to make the user experience easier (you can download them from the main site).
Pro Cross-platform and open source
Editra can run on Linux, Mac OS X, and Windows. Its sources are easily available from the site.
Editra has a simple and very customizable UI.
Pro Python IDE
It's written in Python and can also be used as a Python IDE. Just by extending it through the installation of additional features and widgets, Editra can become an IDE for any programming language it supports.
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 Keyboard combinations can be confusing for new users
For example, for navigation it uses the b, n, p, l keys. Which for some people may seem strange in the begging. However they can be changed easily.
Con Documentation is not beginner-friendly
Although lots of good built-in documentation _exists_, I have after four years of Emacs as my primary editor not figured out how to actually make use of it, and rely completely on Google / StackOverflow for help.
Con Hard customization
For customization, you need to learn Lisp
Con A lot of jokes in this serious software
Con Using Emacs on a new machine without your .emacs file
Con UI is ugly and outdated
Editra's UI is rather ugly and outdated and the color scheme is not as sleek as the other options out there.