7

It's in the title:

What's the difference between evil-search-forward and evil-ex-search-forward?

When would I want to use one instead of the other?

evil-search-forward
Search forward for user-entered text.
Searches for regular expression if evil-regexp-search is t.

evil-ex-search-forward
Starts a forward search.

8

evil has two search implementations, one is its own, the other one is a wrapper around emacs isearch. evil-search-forward wraps isearch-forward, evil-ex-search-forward invokes the internal search.

Which one is used is governed by the variable evil-search-module, the default is isearch. In this mode, evil's search behaves exactly like emacs' (because it is.) When set to evil-search you get the behavior much more similar to vim. (I can't enumerate the differences since I migrated from vim to emacs/evil quite some time ago, but play with this variable, you will get the taste of it and decide what you like more. I use isearch because I get consistent behavior with other places in emacs where I stick to emacs mode and evil does a very good job wrapping native isearch and preserving vim-like functionality, but it's a matter of taste and habits)

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