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Programming Software Linux

Comparison: Linux Text Editors 402

jrepin writes: Mayank Sharma of Linux Voices tests and compares five text editors for Linux, none of which are named Emacs or Vim. The contenders are Gedit, Kate, Sublime Text, UltraEdit, and jEdit. Why use a fancy text editor? Sharma says, "They can highlight syntax and auto-indent code just as effortlessly as they can spellcheck documents. You can use them to record macros and manage code snippets just as easily as you can copy/paste plain text. Some simple text editors even exceed their design goals thanks to plugins that infuse them with capabilities to rival text-centric apps from other genres. They can take on the duties of a source code editor and even an Integrated Development Environment."
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Comparison: Linux Text Editors

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  • by jeffb (2.718) ( 1189693 ) on Friday August 01, 2014 @06:23PM (#47585455)

    It may not have been wise for me to spend years training vi into my muscle memory, but it's done now, and I'm not especially interested in giving up that advantage.

  • Pfft (Score:5, Insightful)

    by relisher ( 2955441 ) on Friday August 01, 2014 @06:24PM (#47585457)
    You can do all of this in Emacs and Nano. No need for some shiny new text editor...
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday August 01, 2014 @06:29PM (#47585499)

    I used to use gedit on Linux a lot a few years ago. I then used OS X for a few years, but I recently moved back to Linux. One of the first things I did after getting Linux installed was try to edit some files using gedit. And my first reaction was: JESUS FUCKING CHRIST, WHAT IN THE FUCKING HELL DID THEY DO TO GEDIT'S UI?!

    It used to have a good, traditional UI. There were useful menus and a toolbar, and it all worked very well. But now, JESUS FUCKING CHRIST, it looks stupid as all hell. There are no menus any longer, and the toolbar has been castrated into having like 4 buttons. The icons are pathetic, and don't indicate what the button actually does. Whoever the hell reworked the UI managed to break what was once a very usable text editor. Now it's rubbish.

    It's like they took the idiotic UI design of Chrome and brought it over to gedit. And now gedit is useless to me! So I've moved on to Kate. At least the KDE crew hasn't gone completely fucking stupid like the GNOME dipshits apparently have.

    Why the fuck did they have to ruin gedit's UI?

  • by zAPPzAPP ( 1207370 ) on Friday August 01, 2014 @06:37PM (#47585563)

    But Notepad(++) is pretty good...

  • by msauve ( 701917 ) on Friday August 01, 2014 @06:44PM (#47585619)
    Don't all of these text editors require a GUI? I prefer something which can work with a serial/telnet/(basic ssh) console, without all the unnecessary overhead of a GUI. I like joe (which can reasonably emulate emacs/pico, if you want), but can deal with vi if I have to.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday August 01, 2014 @06:51PM (#47585673)

    Vi has a learning curve that's more of a cliff than a curve, but it's probably the most usable text editor ever invented. People get freaked out by it and give up on trying to learn it, but everything is available without having to remove your hands from the keyboard and it has commands for virtually anything that you're likely to want to do.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday August 01, 2014 @07:04PM (#47585781)

    Yeah, right, dat steep learning curve. I've wasted years using UltraEdit, because I was told that vim was too hard. One friday afternoon I fired up vimtutor, and it took me the following weekend to learn vim enough to do my work as good as with UltraEdit. From that moment on, I've spent years honing my vim skills, following a very slow but rewarding learning curve.

    I've been editing (plain)text for living for the last 15 years, and I doubt I'd ever get as dedicated, thorough and precise in my work without vim. All those self-proclaimed no-learning-curve, get-the-job-done editors are inferior, and one should use them only if they actually need to do some ad-hoc work, which they actually don't even want to do.

    Pick a proper tool for your job, not a toy.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday August 01, 2014 @07:05PM (#47585785)

    However, as an admin, I have long ago standardized on VI for the simple reason that it's included by default on every single *nix variant out there. (At least, in my experience.)

    FWIW, vi(1) is actually part of the POSIX specification. So you're guaranteed at least the base level of functionality (which is generally all you need to tweak /etc/hosts, etc.).

    For heavier coding jobs something else can be useful, but for the basics: getting in, moving around, editing, and saving/quitting, are what you need to know. Anything after that is gravy.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday August 01, 2014 @07:10PM (#47585831)

    My preference is to use Notepad++ on Windows for everything, even when I have Visual studio, because it loads fast. If I'm going to compile things locally then I use Visual Studio.

    On *nix OS's I use Midnight Commander editor (mcedit) if it's available, nano or pico if it's not, and only resort to vi when the system is obnoxious about using it (like editing crontab or passwd files, which BTW I do with MC anyway despite the archaic warnings.) MC has syntax highlighting and all the minimal BS I want to put up with that the plain text editors don't have.

    Nobody needs to use VIM or Emac's anymore unless that's what they are comfortable using.

    The article is about GUI text editors. See here's the thing, you can open the text editor in a command line prompt or ssh shell, anywhere, but using a GUI text editor is much more involved (a separate FTP or SFTP/SCP step is required to put the file where you want it.)

  • Re:Pfft (Score:3, Insightful)

    by techno-vampire ( 666512 ) on Friday August 01, 2014 @07:49PM (#47586093) Homepage
    I've been using nano, or as I like to call it, "Mork's editor," for a number of years when I've needed (or wanted) to do text editing in a CLI environment under Linux and I've never had a bit of trouble with it, even with line endings. You just have to remember that in some places, such as /etc/fstab, you need to make sure there's a /n at the end of every line, including the last one. Of course, my bashrc includes alias nano='nano -w -m' which may well explain why I've had such good luck with it.
  • by Darinbob ( 1142669 ) on Friday August 01, 2014 @07:55PM (#47586135)

    You essentially are required to install cygwin on all windows computers before they become marginally useful.

  • Re:Pfft (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Darinbob ( 1142669 ) on Friday August 01, 2014 @07:56PM (#47586137)

    Ya, I'm surprised by the summary. Apparently the author has not actually used emacs or vim, and instead listed the BARE MINIMUM set of features that any editor should support. Maybe the author came with a pre-existing bias against emacs and vi as "tools for old farts" and assumed any new tools must automatically be better.

  • I have a few text files on my Windows box with :wq scattered around in random locations.

  • by MacTO ( 1161105 ) on Friday August 01, 2014 @08:37PM (#47586317)

    Another often overlooked advantage of vim is continuity. Thos of us who learned vi because it was one of the best editors at the time can still use those skills. When the need arises, we can also build upon those skills with a modern implementation. In all likelihood I'll be able to make the same claim 20 years from now, when most (if not all) of these upstarts will be long forgotten.

    New and improved is great. Constantly relearning skills that you already have, to adapt to new interfaces, isn't so hot.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday August 01, 2014 @10:29PM (#47586877)

    Sounds like you need a better compiler.

  • by russotto ( 537200 ) on Friday August 01, 2014 @10:29PM (#47586881) Journal

    There is emacs. There is vi, for when some fool didn't install emacs. There is ex, for when the terminal is messed up. And there is ed, because it is the standard text editor.

    Anything else is either redundant, or is a word processor with a text-only output.

  • by jd ( 1658 ) <imipak@yaTOKYOhoo.com minus city> on Saturday August 02, 2014 @01:31AM (#47587441) Homepage Journal

    Sigh. Emacs is an operating system with text editing facilities.

  • by TheRaven64 ( 641858 ) on Saturday August 02, 2014 @11:20AM (#47588839) Journal
    Code duplication is not free either. Even if execution time is the only thing that you care about, on anything that's vaguely like a modern CPU (GPUs and microcontrollers are somewhat different), instruction cache space is the most scarce resource, with data cache the second. A function call will likely be branch predicted and in an out of order system the prolog and epilog are mostly handled by the register renaming infrastructure, so the function call is almost free, but the cost of an instruction cache miss from having too many copies of the same code is quite measurable.

I THINK MAN INVENTED THE CAR by instinct. -- Jack Handley, The New Mexican, 1988.