And The Text Editor Madness Champion Is…

Be sure to scroll down to see the completed bracket.

The clever keystrokes of Emacs fans have written a championship story: Emacs is the Text Editor Madness tournament champion! After four rounds of the tournament, thousands of votes, trash talking, left out contenders and broken hearts, the championship has finally been awarded. Vim/vi and Emacs have been battling for almost 30 years so it was fitting that they meet in the final round for a chance at ultimate victory.

The two editors took very different paths to the championship game, with Vim rolling through its competition at every round, while Emacs had to withstand valiant opposition at each turn. None of that matters once you get to the championship round though, as the motto “Survive and Advance” means the scores reset to 0-0 in every game.

The final game was worthy of its billing as the two long-time archrivals battled back and forth, with both editors taking the lead at some point. Ultimately the passionate fans of Emacs rallied together and willed their editor to victory over Vim.

The flexibility of Emacs allowed it to twist and contort itself through every round, doing what was necessary to survive and win the championship. In the final around against Vim it pushed Vim against the wall and forced it to beep repeatedly until conceding defeat.

Whether your text editor won or lost, thanks for voting in this year’s Text Editor Madness bracket! We are going to keep the bracket up so you can see how the tournament played out as well as our daily recaps. If you are curious about my four favorite text editors, be sure to visit my other post.

Here’s a recap of each round:

Round 1: (1) Emacs over (16) TextPad, (9) TextMate over (8) BBEdit, (4) Sublime Text over (13) Notepad, (5) Kate over (12) UltraEdit, (2) Vim over (15) Crimson Editor, (7) TextWrangler over (10) EditPlus, (3) Notepad++ over (14) Chocolat, (11) Gedit (11) Geany

Round 2: (1) Emacs over (9) TextMate, (4) Sublime Text over (5) Kate, (2) Vim over (7) TextWrangler, (3) Notepad++ over (11) Gedit

Round 3: (1) Emacs over (4) Sublime Text, (2) Vim over (3) Notepad++

Round 4: (1) Emacs over (2) Vim

From March 22, 2013

In the tournament, there’s often no substitute for experience and poise, and both of our finalists have been in the text editing game for a long time. Emacs and Vim, the one and two seeds of the 2013 Text Editor Madness tournament have fought off all competitors and powered into the finals. While Vim handily dispatched Notepad++ in the semis; Emacs and Sublime Text were involved in an instant classic. Sublime Text came into the day with dreams of making it to the championship match, and its last two rounds had given it hope, rolling over Notepad and Kate.

Sublime Text led Emacs during the morning but soon the passionate Emacs fanbase rallied and the game was tied and then back and forth for most of the day. Emacs dug deep into its reserves and finished strong, closing out Sublime Text and advancing to the finals!

Now it is the battle of the behemoths. The bluebloods. The titans of text editing. Emacs versus Vim. Who will be crowned champion? Whose dreams will be dashed? It all comes down to this! Tell your friends, tell your kids, tell  your mailman to vote for your favorite editor– in this tournament it only takes one shot to write history.

From March 21, 2013

The second round of Text Editor Madness saw no upsets as all four favorites advanced to the Final Four. The top-seeded Emacs fought off a valiant effort from TextMate to advance, while Vim continued its dominance, rolling over TextWrangler from Bare Bones Software. Gedit, an 11 seed and Cinderella of the tournament, saw midnight strike as it wasn’t able to sustain its momentum from the previous round and got knocked off by three seed Notepad++. Sublime Text lived up to its name with a beautiful performance in ousting five seed Kate.

The popular pick for the finals is between Emacs and Vim, but there is a large contingent of folks, especially on Reddit, who are looking for Sublime Text to make the upset. With Emacs limping into the Final Four and a passionate crowd rooting for Sublime Text, anything can happen. After all, this is March.

The choice is yours. We are down to the Final Four, so get your votes in today to help your favorite editor advance to the championship round.

From March 20, 2013

The first day of Text Editor Madness is in the books, and in true tournament fashion there were already two upsets in the first round. The biggest upset of the day was 11 seed gedit running away from six seed Geany. The other upset was in a battle of commercial editors with nine seed TextMate victorious over eight seed BBEdit. At the top of the bracket, No. 1 overall seed Emacs held on despite a valiant effort from TextPad, while two seed Vim crushed Crimson Editor and cruised onto the next round.

The closest matchup of the day was OS X editor TextWrangler  eking out a win over Windows-based EditPlus. NotePad++ dispatched upstart editor Chocolat, and the longtime player Notepad was ousted in the first round by the surging Sublime Text. A common upset is a 12 seed over a 5 seed, but the chalk held this time as Kate ground out a victory over UltraEdit to advance.

No tournament selection is complete without discussion around those that didn’t quite make the cut. Basketball fans know that sometimes deserving teams can get left out of the tournament when the committee releases their final selection, and the Text Editor Madness Tournament was no exception. Social media was abuzz with talks of the text editors that were snubbed. On Google+, folks were clamoring for Nano and TECO. After Racker Major Hayden posted the bracket on Twitter there were calls for Pico from several in the Twitterverse.

From March 19, 2013

This time of year, everyone loves talking about brackets. But instead of college hoops, we want to see which text editor will be crowned champion and get to play “One Shining Moment” as it cuts down the nets.

A field of 16 text editors will compete in this Text Editor Madness tournament. The selection committee looked for text editors that: (1) work on different operating systems, (2) cost money or are open source and (3) span all time periods – some are old, some are new. The top four seeds are editors that are well known and incite passion (Emacs, Vim, Notepad++ and Sublime Text), and we know that there will be a royal rumble as the rounds advance.

The bracket will be updated daily, with the winners advancing, so be sure to come back and vote for your favorites through Friday! Also, check out which text editors made my Final Four.

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  1. C’mon… we all know it’s going to come down to the big two.. vim vs emacs! And we all kow who’s going to win.. duhhh!


  2. Vim. if you are using a windows platform you are just doing it wrong. In order to correct this you will need to format your drive and install some form of non ubuntu linux after that go wash away the years of disgust from working on windows. If a mac user please skip steps above and move right to formal suicide and hope that you dont get sued for violating an apple patent for it.

  3. Denommus, vim was created in the 80s on the Amiga. So it automatically wins by associative-cool-system history. 🙂


  4. @Digital420: I tried. I really tried to install, run and LIKE ubuntu. I wanted to stick needles in my eyes. I almost threw the computer out the window. Never, ever, ever again will I do such a thing. Dont get me wrong, I cant STAND Windows 8 either. I am sticking at Windows 7 for as long as possible then making the switch to OS X if Microsoft hasnt come to their senses and admit that Windows 8 sucks.

  5. @Jo
    Jo probably you’re not going to see this but i switched from windows to linux using linux mint.

    It’s the most popular distro on distrowatch, just google linux mint it’s the first thing that comes up. And yeah it is much better and more stable than ubuntu (especially debian edition which im using at this moment).

    Anyways just download it (its’ around 1gig) try it with a live USB stick (use unetbootin to make a bootable usb, it’s really simple) and see if you like it.

  6. Definitely VIM if you want to be fast and productive.
    Emacs is really full-featured beefy editor and there is nothing wrong with it, except for the fact that sadly 10 fingers aren’t enough for it. 🙁
    I am remapping esc to capslock which makes me even faster with the VIM – the productivity I cannot even imagine with any other editor.


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