When comparing Spacemacs vs Tower, the Slant community recommends Tower for most people. In the question“What are the best developer tools for Mac OSX?” Tower is ranked 5th while Spacemacs is ranked 7th. The most important reason people chose Tower is:
T2 has a good-looking interface and consists of 3 main views - services, repositories and repository. - Services view for managing integrations with hosting services like GitHub, Bitbucket and Beanstalk. - Repositories view for organizing local and remote repositories into folders and getting general overview about them. - Repo view that consists of two main subviews: - Working copy view shows modified files and their diff and allows wrapping up changes in a commit. - History shows commits alongside metadata and projects file structure. Additionally, it allows performing various tasks such as merging branches via drag & drop, search allows searching by message, commit hash, author, committer and file and there's a quick open that allows fuzzy-searching for folder names.
Ranked in these QuestionsQuestion Ranking
Pro Combines the best parts of Vi and Emacs
Spacemacs combines the Emacs platform (with the full power of the Emacs plugin ecosystem) and the Vi keybindings (via EViL), all in the same box.
Pro Simple but powerful configuration architecture
At the heart of Spacemacs, the configuration layers group packages configuration into semantic units that can be toggled on and off. The architecture is simple but powerful, allowing the user to easily manage configuration dependencies between hundreds of packages.
Pro Above average documentation quality
Documentation is mandatory for each new configuration layer and can be accessed directly within the editor in Org format.
Pro Community-driven configuration
Spacemacs is the biggest community-driven Emacs starter-kit.
Emacs runs on Gnu/Linux, Mac OS X, and Windows.
Pro Great support from the community
The community surrounding Spacemacs is very active and there is a welcoming gitter chat for users to ask questions.
Pro Completely configured out of the box
Stuff like version control, file management, good default theme are all configured out of the box.
Pro Mnemonic and consistent keybindings
Space-lead key bindings are organized in mnemonic namespaces. For instance, buffer actions are under
SPC b, file actions are under
SPC f, project actions are under
SPC p, search actions are under
SPC s, and so on. Keybindings are consistent across the whole distribution thanks to a set of conventions.
Pro Can be controlled fully with the keyboard
There's no need to reach for the mouse again since Spacemacs can be fully controlled with keyboard.
Pro Lowers the risk of RSI by using the spacebar as leader
Spacemacs got its name from the fact that it is uses the space bar as a default leader key. The key was chosen because it is easy to press and to hopefully lower the risk of RSI.
Pro Fast-paced development
New functionalities and fixes are added to Spacemacs every day, while release cycles are short.
Pro Gradual learning curve
Evil package is a first class citizen and Spacemacs embraces it from day one. Evil package allows Vim users to be productive very quickly while still allowing regular Emacs users to use Spacemacs.
Pro Remote file editing
Files can be edited in Spacemacs remotely.
Pro Offers a number of practical features
Spacemacs has some great features for taking notes, tracking to-do lists, and tracking time.
Pro Manage many code bases easily
Pro LaTeX support
LaTeX allows for auto-completion, syncing, and more.
Pro Great note-taking and agenda "app" built-in
Allows for great organization applications that can be saved in future-proof format, plain text, can be integrated with LaTeX, markdown, HTML, Literate Programming and be committed to source control.
Pro Can work in terminal mode
Sometimes you only have terminal access, over ssh or something.
Pro Works well with Common Lisp
Pro Daemon support
Has great daemon support, which can mitigate the issue of slow startup.
Pro Easily extended with community plugins
Pro Great CFEngine support
Syntax highlighting and org-babel extensions.
Pro Manage R files easily
Pro Great Clojure support
Pro Excellent support for Elixir programming language
Elixir layer which uses the Alchemist package is the best way to edit Elixir code out there.
Pro Pretty, modern-looking user interface
T2 has a good-looking interface and consists of 3 main views - services, repositories and repository.
Services view for managing integrations with hosting services like GitHub, Bitbucket and Beanstalk.
Repositories view for organizing local and remote repositories into folders and getting general overview about them.
Repo view that consists of two main subviews:
Working copy view shows modified files and their diff and allows wrapping up changes in a commit.
History shows commits alongside metadata and projects file structure.
Additionally, it allows performing various tasks such as merging branches via drag & drop, search allows searching by message, commit hash, author, committer and file and there's a quick open that allows fuzzy-searching for folder names.
Pro Offers a visual way to solve conflicts
T2 shows conflicting files, their authors and the commit that made changes. It then allows selecting which files should be used in the final result.
Pro Git-flow integration
Git-flow provide a consistent development process by defining a strict branching model that is great for managing large projects. T2 allows setting up and integrating into repos that follow this model.
Pro The UI only shows the needed commands at a time
Tower covers most of the daily tasks that a developer may need to complete. It shows only what you need for the most common tasks without overwhelming the user.
Pro Very polished user interface
Pro Sherry-Picking by Drag 'N' Drop
Con Can be quite glitchy at times
Spacemacs combines many packages from many different authors that were never designed to work together. Sometimes they interact in unexpected ways, and things randomly break as one package interferes with another's features. This combined with delayed auto-loading of packages in unpredictable order, different modes for different file types, frequent package updates, and necessary customization by selection of layers and packages, can make these glitches hard to reproduce. It takes a lot of emacs know-how to fix these problems. Fortunately there is a very active community willing to help with these problems, but it might take a while.
Con Functionality layers of complicated configuration
To configure Spacemacs, settings for Emacs/Evil/Spacemacs may need editing. It's not always clear which need to be changed or how to change settings globally: sometimes hooks are needed, other times Spacemacs provides options.
Con Complex learning difficulty
You must be familiar with either Vim or Emacs. In addition, you should be familiar with the unique features of Spacemacs. The Layer concept of replacing Emacs settings is still difficult and abstract compared to modern editors.
Con High CPU and unresponsive at times
There are occasions when Spacemacs would suddenly consume a LOT of CPU and then other times would become completely unresponsive. This instability took place only 6 months or so ago. Restarting Spacemacs can fix it for a while but perhaps this issue is already fixed in newer versions.
Con Slow startup time
Although configuration is heavily loaded, the starting time of Spacemacs is usually between two and five seconds. Emacs can be run as a daemon though which reduces the client's startup time to a few milliseconds.
Con Stability issues on Windows
On a simple repository, the UI often lags or freezes.
Con Can only display a single repo at a time
There's no quick way of switching between repositories (such as tabs).
Con Inefficient UI
In order to not overwhelm the users with information, much of the information is either hidden by default or requires navigating to a different section to access.
Con Not free/libre
This application is proprietary, and thus cannot be modified or freely distributed.