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Best editor: Visual Slick, Vim, ..

I'm reading Pragmatic Programmer and a large section goes about the importance of the right editor.

In the last time I used Scite but it seems to be underpowered for a dedication.
So what would you choose and why?
Except of the price tag I think Visual Slick Edit seems a good decision..

Friday, March 28, 2003

I have to go with vim myself here. That's mostly because I know it well enough that I can work extremely productively in it, and if I knew something else better than that'd be the better editor.

It happened that I learned vim first as the first really powerful editor. It's a good deal, too!

But, go with what you know.

Mike Swieton
Friday, March 28, 2003

You're kidding right?

Next topic: which is the better religion, Christianity or Islam?


Friday, March 28, 2003

Taste great. Less filling. Taste great. Less filling......

Friday, March 28, 2003

I'm also intersted in which Java IDE is best, which operating system is best, and which pants are best. PANTS!

Friday, March 28, 2003

You forgot what home-computer is best ! My vote goes to Amiga. :-)

Oh, as for editors.. Textpad works fine for me.

Friday, March 28, 2003

I've been a user of Visual Slickedit since version 1.0 and I've been pretty happy with it.  It supports all the smart tags better then VC++ and you can train it for new languages if you want.  It's cross platform and handles all the various files line endings automatically.

Of course I know that editors are a religious issue so I'm not suggesting that anybody switch but I know that most of the programmers I currently work with use various forks of emacs and they generally get jealous when they see me using VS.

Sure it costs $299?  But come on, for a programmer your single most important software is your editor.  Whatever editor you choose, don't base you decision on price.

Gregg Tavares
Friday, March 28, 2003

Favorite editor? Textpad.
Favorite IDE? Visual Studio.NET.

Using the IDE is cumbersome, but the Intellisense value just can't be underestimated.

Brad (
Friday, March 28, 2003

I swear by Scite.

It's free, open source and amazing.

Ged Byrne
Friday, March 28, 2003

SlickEdit in a windowing environment. Emacs if at a console.

Friday, March 28, 2003

Never heard of SciTE before but it looks like it could be good (to this Vim user who's open to alternatives but very unlikely to change)

One problem, though - I just can't help pronouncing the Sc as a SH sound.

Friday, March 28, 2003

It's a religous issue, but...

I'm a big fan of VIM. It's hard to learn at first, but the rewards are incredible. For me, its best feature is the ability to work at a meta level, i.e. operator on words/sentences/paragraphs/entire documents with a couple of keystrokes. For example it's two keystrokes '>}' to indent a block of code, one stroke '*' to find the word under the cursor, three keystrokes to convert the current word to uppercase 'gUw', two keystrokes 'Ctrl+T' to jump to the definition of the function under the cursor. There are many more. As someone on this forum said "it's like software that's 95% easter eggs". Other editors have similar functionality, but it's not as 'at your fingertips'.

Tom Payne
Friday, March 28, 2003

How about a lite IDE for PHP + MySQL dev?

Friday, March 28, 2003

Well after some sarcastic remarks, I deserve the right to respond ;-)

The best car: Porsche
The best computer facturer: Apple
The best food: Italy

No kidding:
I'm more interested in features.
Do you miss the lack of intellisense on Vim + the lack of a Project Explorer.
How do you cope with the ugly interface of Slickedit(not to speak about Xemacs)?
How much time do you effectively stay in one editor the whole day?
I can't imagine that a programmer stays the whole day in mainly one program like a designer in Photoshop..

I think that dealing with C# in Emacs or Java in Textpad aren't the best ways to deal with.
The same goes with Perl in :-)

Friday, March 28, 2003

wow. you guys are all wrong.
Best computer: apple IIe
Best editor: (x)emacs
Best food: Korean BBQ
Best programming language: LISP
Best car: my souped up mini cooper S
Best religion: reformed orthodox rastafarianism

Friday, March 28, 2003

Eggs should be cracked open at the big end.

Ged Byrne
Friday, March 28, 2003

Best computer: Ones that I build
Best editor: Mike Tobin at Fox News
Best food: Fried Rice-a from Fighting Foodons
Best programming language: I find it easiest to talk about programming in English or Japanese

That is so sad . . .

Big Mac
Friday, March 28, 2003


I'm glad to see that some people still read...!

Friday, March 28, 2003

For me, Textpad.

Some people like JEdit too..

Colin Evans
Friday, March 28, 2003


Friday, March 28, 2003

Eclipse for Java
.NET for Microsoft

Friday, March 28, 2003

I think you get the point:  it's a matter of personal preference. There is no "best editor" (though there may be candidates for "worst" due to very poor design and lack of stability, etc).

Personally, I prefer vim.  The first editor I learned to use was vi on an IRIX mail account.  I found it pretty easy to learn, and offers nice powerful features.  But whatever works for you.  How complex are your needs?  Some people may require nothing more than a program like Nano (FS implementation of Pico).  Others, with many demanding needs, may want emacs or xemacs.  Others, who don't need a be-all like emacs, but also need something more powerful than nano, will like vim (it's basically vi).

Friday, March 28, 2003

And just for good measure, please note that the toilet paper should roll out underneath rather than over-the-top.

The laws of physics bear this out.

Friday, March 28, 2003

Ged - that's wrong. The yolk is mostly at the fat end surely? You have to leave the best 'til last, so it's thin end first for me.

Kyra - conservation of energy tells us that putting the roll in the holder is wasteful. Just leave it on the cistern.

optimistic coder
Saturday, March 29, 2003

I forgot to get to the point...

Textpad is excellent. It seems like it has been around for ever and the updates have been minor - they pretty much got it right first time.

Eclipse is also very good.

optimistic coder
Saturday, March 29, 2003

> Best food: Korean BBQ

Now you're talking!

Matthew Lock
Saturday, March 29, 2003

If you're stuck with Unix, NEDIT is quite reasonable. It works with CUA keys! By God you will NOT believe this of a Unix program but... CTRL+C DOES A COPY TO CLIPBOARD OPERATION! I broke down and wept tears of joy when I first found this program.

My _requirement_ these days is that your editor should minimise typing, thinking and remembering. At least, you should be able to press a key to get some kind of dynamic abbrev type facility; at best, you should get cross referencing, context sensitive symbol suggestions, case correction where this may be done unambiguously and other such stuff. With that in mind, here is my selection, biased towards C/C++ it must be said:

CodeWright is pretty reasonable. It has customisable syntax highlighting and stuff and has a neat Ctrl+Space feature that picks possibilities out of the current document. Not exciting, no, but it was dead easy to set it up for my Maya scripts without having to endlessly dick about, and I get symbol outlining in my 6502 code, so I'm happy!

Source Insight ( ) looked pretty interesting for C/C++. Autocomplete and browsing facilities up the wazoo, and when you type a function call _you get the definition appearing in a little window_ (I'm not sure how genuinely useful that is, but it's pretty cool :), but its facilities for multiple libraries seemed _really_ bad and this put me right off trying it further. The demo is 30 days time limited.

If you spend a lot of time doing C or C++, you might like to try Visual Assist ( ), a plugin for Visual Studio. This is the best editor I've used for C or C++ ever, beating by a significant margin every other editor that I've ever had the misfortune of having to suffer the use of for editing C or C++. It understands the C++ type system, you can browse source without having to build a browse info file, it corrects case for you and generally saves you a lot of time.

The Java Eclipse IDE has a C++ plugin I have yet to use. Eclipse's facilities for editing Java seem really good, but it's a bit of a monster and possibly a bit much for just editing single files. If I'm ever forced to use Unix, I'll probably give this another go.

If you like Emacs, it looks as if Semantic Bovinator ( ) will do some of what Visual Assist does. I couldn't get it to work at all; it seemed to install in emacs, but then didn't do anything, mind you I find emacs terribly confusing so I probably cocked it up somewhere.

Sunday, March 30, 2003

I have been using Slickedit for years.  It is great.  How do I cope with the ugly interface?  I say to myself- "I am a programmer and the ugliness of my editor's interface has no effect on the quality of my code".  Then I look at some porn.

Erik Lickerman
Tuesday, April 1, 2003

My preferred editor is ConText
free, great for huge files and it has
a lot of features

Rodolfo Faria
Sunday, February 29, 2004

I think one of the issues in choosing an editor for development work is that many of us grew up with either vi or emacs, and are more efficient with their unique commands.

What MORE editors and IDE's require is emulation of these modes. So I can be assured that hjkl works for navigating through a source file - but also have features like integrated revision control, project windows, debuggers, etc.

Nick Brawn
Tuesday, May 4, 2004

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