When comparing MacVim vs CodeKit, the Slant community recommends CodeKit for most people. In the question“What are the best power user tools for macOS?” CodeKit is ranked 19th while MacVim is ranked 24th. The most important reason people chose CodeKit is:
Everything you need to get a project started is included with CodeKit. Thanks to the professional support, different components of the workflow pipeline are guaranteed to play nicely with each other without you needing to do the research on how to configure them. More advanced features that may require extra configuration to set up with other workflow wrappers are set up out of the box in CodeKit, like automatic browser updating, linting, and source maps.
Ranked in these QuestionsQuestion Ranking
Pro Lots of plugins
Every plugin available for Vim is available for MacVim too.
Pro Extremely customizable
MacVim is Vim, meaning it has all of Vim's customizability and power.
Pro OS X input methods
MacVim supports OSX's native shortcuts making the adoption of Vim easier.
Pro Extensive community support
MacVim, like Vim itself has a large community backing it.
Pro Automatic font substitution
In cases of a selected font missing certain characters, MacVim will find a font that has that character.
Pro Vimtutor teaches the basics of Vim in 30 minutes
Vimtutor is an excellent interactive tutorial for people with no prior experience of Vim. It's bundled with Vim and takes about 30 minutes to complete.
Pro Everything is a mnemonic
Vim associates keys with words. For example,
d is for "delete" and
w is for "word". To perform an action you string together letters. Thus, to delete a word, press dw.
This way it's possible to abstract a large amount of functionality that Vim provides in an intuitive way.
Pro Enables effective keyboard-driven editing due to its modal nature
Interaction with Vim is centered around several modes. Each mode has a different purpose and switching between them changes behaviour and keybindings. There are 12 modes in total (six basic modes and six variations on basic modes) and four of them are used commonly.
Insert mode is for entering text. This mode most resembles traditional text entry in most editors.
Normal mode (the default) is entered by hitting ESC and converts all keybindings to center around movement within the file, search, pane selection, etc.
Command mode is entered by hitting ":" in Normal mode and allows you to execute Vim commands and scripts similar in fashion to a shell.
Visual mode is for selecting lines, blocks, and characters of code.
Modes allow separating concerns between various tasks and reusing keys for different kinds of functionality. As a result, the workflow becomes more efficient.
Pro Multi-byte support
Permits writing characters that don't fit in one byte, most notably logograms (for writing in languages such as Japanese, Chinese, and Korean) and Unicode characters.
Pro Everything is set up for you
Everything you need to get a project started is included with CodeKit. Thanks to the professional support, different components of the workflow pipeline are guaranteed to play nicely with each other without you needing to do the research on how to configure them.
More advanced features that may require extra configuration to set up with other workflow wrappers are set up out of the box in CodeKit, like automatic browser updating, linting, and source maps.
Pro Provides a clean and modern GUI
CodeKit has a clean and intuitive graphical user interface out of the box. Most other tools in this category run as command line utilities or require unsupported third-party plugins to run with a GUI.
The CodeKit GUI makes it easier to navigate and manage the various components of your project with helpful UIs like dropdowns, and views that provide extra details without having to run a separate command.
Pro Live browser updating built in
CodeKit has live updating built in and will update monitored files across multiple browsers and devices, and refresh CSS without a new page load. Other workflow wrappers have live updating, but they require extra configuration. With CodeKit, everything is set up for you so you can get it up and running in no time at all.
Pro Interactively define how files compile with a GUI
You can navigate your project directory, and use a menu form to set up how it gets compiled without needing to read configuration documentation, or deal with configuration errors. On top of that, file watching and recompilation is built in with no extra configuration needed.
Pro Great value for money
At a one time cost of $29, it's a great deal considering how powerful and easy to use it is.
Pro Visual package management with Bower
CodeKit provides a clean GUI for Bower that makes it easier to navigate and get information about modules without having to deal with a command line interface.
Pro Connects with MAMP
You can use it to, for example, live-update server-side PHP by establishing a connection with your local MAMP server.
Pro Don't have to worry about vendor prefixes due to Autoprefixer support
Autoprefixer automagically adds vendor prefixes based on latest information.
Pro Reduces size of compressed images
CodeKit provides a powerful tool to automatically reduce the size of compressed images and production web code.
Pro Live pre-processor and script compilation
Pro Has over 6k componenets
Install 6,000+ Bower components with a single click: Bootstrap, jQuery, Modernizr, Zurb Foundation, even WordPress.
Con Slow when opening files with very long lines
A lot of very long lines can make MacVim take up to a minute to open, where a few other editors take only a few seconds to load the same file.
Con Only available on macOS
A decent text editor is available on all major platforms (macOS, Linux, Windows).
Con Difficult learning curve
MacVim after all is still Vim, and with that comes the complexity that Vim brings and the difficult learning curve that needs to be overcome.
Con Mac only
This is a major problem for larger teams that have varied development environments.
You get only the tools that are provided by the application.