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On text editors


kit
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Back 10 years ago or so, when I first started coding, a friend turned me on to a great little application called BBEdit. It was great! It respected line feeds in a cross-platform environment, had a wicked set of find and replace features based on regular expressions, and lovely pallets that gave you one or two click access to just about any syntax you needed. I've been using BBEdit as my primary text editor ever since. I've been using BBEdit since before I even knew my wife. This program has been integral to my various career, computer, and life experiences since that time.

 

Yet another application has caught my eye. A young upstart called TextMate. It has these really nifty macro constructs built in to it for dozens of languages. Just start typing a control structure and hit tab then TextMate will fill out the syntax for you, complete with dummy variables and tabs intact. It's younger than BBEdit and its find and replace interface could use some fixing, but it's faster on launch, smaller for its memory footprint, and has a number of compelling features BBEdit can't touch. The auto-completion for brackets and parenthesis, for instance, aren't to be trifled with. It lets me post straight to my blog, for Pete's sake, from right within the program. I'm more comfortable with BBEdit's searching features, but that doesn't make them better -- just different. The little improvements TextMate introduces, and all the little time savers will add up. Just saving 2 seconds an hour in the course of a work-year can yield up to 13 more hours a year I could be playing with the kids.

 

BBEdit has been my mainstay for a decade, and has been faithful to my needs, but TextMate may be the better offering for what I want to do with a text editor. Now, some of you are reading this going, "Sheesh, it's just a text editor!" but you don't understand. I spend 80% of my time in a text editor. Code. This is what I do.

 

I'm so conflicted. I know, it's a ridiculous feeling, but I can't shake it. It feels like I'm having an affair or something -- I actually feel guilty. Here's the new model, and it's actually nicer than old faithful.

 

Anyway, I have 30 days to decide before I buy a license for the new app, but I think those thirty days are simply going to be spent assuaging my guilt. I think I've already made my decision.

 

So, any of the resident code monkeys ever have this problem? Or am I really that weird? (Don't answer that.)

 

kit

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I do some development using Eclipse...but not much other than. So coding isn't too close to my heart...

However,

my background in network engineering----My "cheater" feeling comes when I use a GUI to access/manage a router/switch----I can't stand it---makes me feel all "dirty" inside. I'm definately a command line kinda guy. An old dog, I guess.

 

Kev

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It's hard when you have a program you are comfortable using and have made great use of for so long. Don't feel too guilty because you've found something that finally does a better job for you. The auto brackets and parentheses alone would be a godsend in my eyes. I can't count the number of times back in the day when I'd do something, and it would crash repeatedly because I couldn't find the one stupid missing ) or ]

 

@Frosch - So UltraEdit32 is still around. I used to use that when I coded on MUDs. I think I got my copy jeez, like 9 years ago or something. Before that, in college I also used PICO.

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Hehe, I can understand how you feel. I had that problem a bit when I was switching from emacs to SlickEdit.

 

Since you are shopping around a bit, a couple of other *VERY* good text editors for the Mac that you might want to consider:

 

SlickEdit is now available for the Mac. This editor saved my butt many, many times when I was coding for a living. Very powerful, very programmable/configurable. Put other editors to shame for many years. Now available on the Mac, but it has been multiplatform for years (which is why I went to it about 10 years ago). SlickEdit has had some of the features that are now common on the higher end text editors for about 10 years. Even though I haven't (primarily) coded for a living for the last 7 years, I only recently let my annual maintenance lapse. Finally accepted that now that I make someone else do the coding for me (after I've designed the user interface), I don't need to pay the upgrade maintenance every year. ::):

 

SubEthaEdit is a really cool Mac only text editor that has the (unique?) feature of supporting real collaborative editing in real time. Multiple people can be editing the same file, and SubEthaEdit will show the edits in real time and in color coding so that you can tell who is editing what. I've used SubEthaEdit at a conference where a number of people in the audience were adding/modifying the real time log/discussion going on currently with the main panel/talk. Finally, SubEthaEdit is very much written by Macheads for Mac users.

 

Ron

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I know how you feel. I was tied to Allaire Homesite for my coding. I tried the others, but none of them were "mine". I stuck with it so long, the software went out of date, Allaire sold Homesite. Luckily, I don't do much coding anymore. Hopefully if I do, I can either drum up a copy of Homesite 5, or the new Macromedia Homesite will do me right, and I can find it for free.

 

By the way, does anyone know of a HTML editor that's free, it was called Arachnophobia or something similar. It was some programmers pet project, among others. That one was decent too, but I don't recall the name for sure, no where to find it.

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ok, so I stink at coding, but I know what you mean about the cheating feeling.

 

I still use PaintShop Pro 9. ( I think I got it originally in like the late 90's) Even though I have PhotoShop CS, I feel wierd using it, so unless I need it for something I just CAN'T do in PSP9, I won't use it.

 

So yes you're wierd, but not too much more than the rest of us.

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I'm a lOOz3r! I use good ol' Notepad when I do my coding..nothing more..and nothing less (though there is not much out there that is any less than Notepad I am told)

 

As for sentimental attachment to software, I felt the same way about my ten-year-old version of Microsoft Publisher. I was so comfortable with its workings that I wanted to get the newest version of MSPub when I got my newest computer. Fortunately I couldn't afford the suite, but a year or so later I got a great deal on a second hand laptop and a load of software including my Adobe Photoshop and InDesign. I had to buy a few "for dummies" books to find my way around those new programs, but I am glad I did.

 

But you know what's really sad?

 

I don't want to give up my old Windows95 pc because it's the only thing that still runs Warcraft.

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SlickEdit is now available for the Mac. This editor saved my butt many, many times when I was coding for a living. Very powerful, very programmable/configurable. Put other editors to shame for many years. Now available on the Mac, but it has been multiplatform for years (which is why I went to it about 10 years ago). SlickEdit has had some of the features that are now common on the higher end text editors for about 10 years. Even though I haven't (primarily) coded for a living for the last 7 years, I only recently let my annual maintenance lapse. Finally accepted that now that I make someone else do the coding for me (after I've designed the user interface), I don't need to pay the upgrade maintenance every year. ::):

 

SubEthaEdit is a really cool Mac only text editor that has the (unique?) feature of supporting real collaborative editing in real time. Multiple people can be editing the same file, and SubEthaEdit will show the edits in real time and in color coding so that you can tell who is editing what. I've used SubEthaEdit at a conference where a number of people in the audience were adding/modifying the real time log/discussion going on currently with the main panel/talk. Finally, SubEthaEdit is very much written by Macheads for Mac users.

 

Tried SubEtha. Liked it, but its syntax coloring was slow to the point of distraction -- like I could be typing a line and watch the program catch up with me as I went along. Its regex support for find and replace was also lacking. It could not turn me from the BBEdit. If I had more developers working for me, then I'd likely give it another look. I like its collaborative editing features.

 

I've never tried SlickEdit. Its feature set looks very comparable to TextMate, but it seems awfully expensive. But what the heck, I'll give it a download and check it out!

 

Stubbdog, TextMate is Mac only. $39 EUR. http://macromates.com/ Though, if I like it as much as I already do within the next 30 days, it will be a good reason to develop on the Mac, right up there with BBEdit. :;):

 

kit

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I'm a lOOz3r! I use good ol' Notepad when I do my coding..nothing more..and nothing less (though there is not much out there that is any less than Notepad I am told)

 

But you know what's really sad?

 

I don't want to give up my old Windows95 pc because it's the only thing that still runs Warcraft.

I resisted switching from DOS for years so that I could use all my tracking software.

 

Anyway, I was lured away from Notepad ages ago was ConTEXT. All I really wanted was a Notepad like program that could remember what files/folders I had been in recently. It's pretty good.

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