Linked by Adam S on Tue 26th Aug 2008 13:10 UTC, submitted by linuxlinks
Features, Office Periodically, there's a review of text editors for a particular platform. Linuxlinks' latest post is pretty thorough though, covering 21 different Linux/Unix text editors. "In many users' eyes, a text editor should be lean and mean, fast to start up and shut down, without fancy splash screens or a graphical user interface. The choice of editor has long stirred up strong emotions. [...] To provide an insight into the quality of software that is available, we have compiled a list of 21 high quality Linux text editors. There's a mix of graphical and console based applications included.
Order by: Score:
No Joe??
by Morgan on Tue 26th Aug 2008 13:22 UTC
Morgan
Member since:
2005-06-29

I wonder why Joe isn't in this list? It's installed by default in Slackware, which is where I know it from. It's basic, sure, but it's not much different from nano. I used to use it so much that I'd find myself hitting ^KX (save and close) in other editors simply out of habit.

Reply Score: 3

RE: No Joe??
by StephenBeDoper on Tue 26th Aug 2008 20:50 UTC in reply to "No Joe??"
StephenBeDoper Member since:
2005-07-06

plus-plus

JOE is my fav. command line editor. Horribly oversimplifying, I find EMACS too heavy, VI too minimalist, PICO/NANO too limited, but JOE is "just right."

Reply Score: 2

RE: No Joe??
by Doc Pain on Wed 27th Aug 2008 02:24 UTC in reply to "No Joe??"
Doc Pain Member since:
2006-10-08

I wonder why Joe isn't in this list?


Joe's Own Editor (joe) is the first editor I used when I started programming on x86, starting with Skaclware, and using FreeBSD today. Joe has developed many good features over the time and is still one of my favourite editors. The command "save and exit", ^KX, has even developed into a synonym for "good bye" or "see ya" at the end of a mail or IRC / IM conversation here. :-) While providing high quality and functionality (^KE / ^KR, ^TD and the ^KB/KK/KM/KC/KY set of commands, especially the ability to resize the edit buffer), joe is still to be considered as a small program, it doesn't consume much ressources.

Then I did use robotron computers in the GDR, one famous program was TP (Text Processor), which was a re-implementation of Wordstar. So the most commands of joe made me wonder where I knew them from.

And I thought I'd be the only person using this editor... =^_^=

Reply Score: 3

RE: No Joe??
by zombie process on Wed 27th Aug 2008 13:04 UTC in reply to "No Joe??"
zombie process Member since:
2005-07-08

Yeah - joe and/or ee were what I used to setup for people who needed to do editing from the cli but didn't want to learn vi(m). That was quite a while ago, though - probably 6+ years. I haven't given either of them much of a thought in ages, and it seems that nano is the current darling of the cli-unclued. Or at least it's what all of the *bunutu tutorials reference when they aren't referencing gedit. Maybe a better way to put that is it's the easy-though-feature-lacking ubiquitous cmd line editor, these days.

Reply Score: 2

Only 21?
by Brendan on Tue 26th Aug 2008 13:39 UTC
Brendan
Member since:
2005-11-16

Hehe - if you try each editor out for a day, what are you meant to do after three weeks? Start from the start of the list again, or write your own editor? :-)

Reply Score: 2

Cons?
by jack_perry on Tue 26th Aug 2008 13:39 UTC
jack_perry
Member since:
2005-07-06

Lots of features (pros) listed, no cons. Kompozer for example has a habit of crashing whenever I want it to print. It's usable otherwise (as in, "I haven't yet encountered any other catastrophic bugs").

Reply Score: 2

RE: Cons?
by WorknMan on Tue 26th Aug 2008 14:19 UTC in reply to "Cons?"
WorknMan Member since:
2005-11-13

I recently tried Kompozer on Windows, and this program is ass. Even for a price tag of free, it still isn't worth it. The very fact that many of the 'Linux alternatives to Windows' lists have this as an alternative to Dreamweaver is the very reason why I don't take any of these lists seriously.

Then again, I guess REAL html developers use vi ;)

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Cons?
by KAMiKAZOW on Tue 26th Aug 2008 19:42 UTC in reply to "RE: Cons?"
KAMiKAZOW Member since:
2005-07-06

Kompozer is just a stand-alone version of an old version of Mozilla Composer. If anybody wants such a program for Linux, I strongly suggest the latest SeaMonkey release. Its composer is not stand-alone but at least updated frequently.

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: Cons?
by Havin_it on Wed 27th Aug 2008 14:19 UTC in reply to "RE: Cons?"
Havin_it Member since:
2006-03-10

I'm quite surprised by that comparison being made. Kompozer (I take it this is what used to be called N|VU?) has not 1% of the power of Dreamweaver, and any list that suggests this is the closest you can get to it on Linux is undermining the OS's credibility for web designers/developers.

I only used it or Bluefish for short periods, so feel free to disagree with this, but I choose Quanta+ as the nearest rival to DW. It still lacks a lot of the polish of Dreamweaver, but the UI is sanely organised and (as we expect from any KDE app) insanely tweakable so you can get it just right for your workflow. Project organisation features are well implemented, and the ability to work transparently on remote files (good old KIOslaves) is very neat and means you needn't have a whole copy of the project files on your local machine.

Extensibility is something that could be worked on a bit, to get nearer Dreamweaver's standard. The foundation is there: modules like KFileReplace, Kompare, KLinkStatus and KXSLDebug can be slotted-in, and AFAIK a simple API exists for integrating other external apps in this manner, and there's massive potential for workflow automation and GUI extension using Kommander scripts, but sadly there are virtually no scripts available that I know of. I'd love to see a well-stocked and well-publicised 'Quanta scripts' repository on kde-apps.org, hooked into a KHotNewStuff applet within the program, as seen in Amarok and Superkaramba.

Quanta is already a killer app for me, but it would have broader appeal if it had its own extension community (even commercial as well as OSS) like Dreamweaver has.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Cons?
by WorknMan on Wed 27th Aug 2008 17:39 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Cons?"
WorknMan Member since:
2005-11-13

I only used it or Bluefish for short periods, so feel free to disagree with this, but I choose Quanta+ as the nearest rival to DW.


AFAIK, Quanta+ is not a WYSIWYG editor. If that is the case, then you're really comparing apples to oranges.

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: Cons?
by Havin_it on Wed 27th Aug 2008 18:23 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Cons?"
Havin_it Member since:
2006-03-10

Quanta+ does have a WYSIWYG editing mode, it's called VPL Editor (not sure what it stands for, but I'll guess it's not visible panty line). I don't really use it as I prefer hand-coding; using Dreamweaver (back in '02) taught me a healthy disrespect for WYSIWYG editors, I prefer to see exactly what's going on beneath.

When I did use it, on a page with some javascript, it crashed; then again, the same thing happened with N|VU ;-)

Reply Score: 2

21 versions of Vim?
by aliquis on Tue 26th Aug 2008 14:22 UTC
aliquis
Member since:
2005-07-23

What? There is 21 versions of Vim for Linux?!

Reply Score: 9

RE: 21 versions of Vim?
by gilboa on Wed 27th Aug 2008 17:31 UTC in reply to "21 versions of Vim?"
gilboa Member since:
2005-07-06

Amen to that!

vim + ctags (actually, large collection of different ctags thrown around in different places) + custom syntax rules for C.

How can anyone use something else is beyond me ;)

Heck, I even used vim to write this text (EditSourceWith) and my Firefox is
using a vim-like interface (vimperator)

- Gilboa

Reply Score: 3

Completely useless article
by stepardo_ on Tue 26th Aug 2008 14:34 UTC
stepardo_
Member since:
2008-08-26

Nobody really needed such an article. I mean, of course there are plenty of editors out there, and whenever you need one you will have one.

And in the end it all boils down to: if vim and emacs are too much for you to learn, pick and editor from your K- or Gnomemenu and be happy with it.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Completely useless article
by Havin_it on Wed 27th Aug 2008 14:48 UTC in reply to "Completely useless article"
Havin_it Member since:
2006-03-10

I'm not sure if your second paragraph is your synopsis of the article or your own opinion; if it's the latter, I have to say that's rather simplistic. Many people can benefit from a little guidance in choosing from the dizzying range of editors available, and the choice is not as simple as choosing between a keyboard-shortcut-tastic console editor or your DE's standard Notepad clone. That barely scratches the surface.

Personally, I need a lightweight GUI editor that supports multiple documents, syntax highlighting/completion and DOS-format files, but doesn't depend on a whole DE, and is lean enough to be responsive when X-forwarded over an ADSL (or even dialup) line. Vim/Emacs or gedit/kwrite don't fit that bill, but scite does. (In the absence of a guide like this, I spent quite a while trialling all the editors available in my package manager before reaching my choice.)

I also want a console editor for quick'n'dirty edits, without needing to spend a day figuring out the keyboard shortcuts to save and close it afterwards. Step forward nano. I have still other editors for other tasks.

My point is, if you're going to be doing a lot of work with a text-editor, you save a lot of bother by selecting one that best fits your needs, which may be very specific.

Reply Score: 2

vi
by yanik on Tue 26th Aug 2008 14:56 UTC
yanik
Member since:
2005-07-13

As a sysadmin, vi is a real gem. The right tool for the right job.

vi ftw


:wq

Reply Score: 7

RE: vi
by lydgate on Wed 27th Aug 2008 15:25 UTC in reply to "vi"
lydgate Member since:
2006-12-30

I tried a few of the editors on that list but I just can't get my head out of vi(m) mode.

I've been using it for a few years now and I learn something new every week.

:wq

:x (or ZZ in command mode!)

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: vi
by spaceLem on Thu 28th Aug 2008 03:31 UTC in reply to "RE: vi"
spaceLem Member since:
2007-07-26

I tried a few of the editors on that list but I just can't get my head out of vi(m) mode.

I've been using it for a few years now and I learn something new every week.

":wq

:x (or ZZ in command mode!)
"

It's embarrassing how often I try to :x out of a terminal.

The two things that annoy me about vim is that ctrl-left or ctrl-right does something other than what I'm expecting, but that's what 'w' and 'b' are for. Also that any standard keyboard has a capslock and an escape key the wrong way round.

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: vi
by lydgate on Thu 28th Aug 2008 07:55 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: vi"
lydgate Member since:
2006-12-30

It's embarrassing how often I try to :x out of a terminal.

I've just done alias :x=exit ;)

Reply Score: 1

v Honk! Honk!
by Weeman on Tue 26th Aug 2008 15:05 UTC
TextMate
by danieldk on Tue 26th Aug 2008 15:51 UTC
danieldk
Member since:
2005-11-18

What, is there an alternative for vim? ;) Though, I'd still like to have TextMate on Linux/BSD as well.

Reply Score: 3

;-O
by broken_symlink on Tue 26th Aug 2008 15:52 UTC
broken_symlink
Member since:
2005-07-06

No emacs fans on osnews? Looks like i'm all alone...

Reply Score: 1

RE: ;-O
by hurdboy on Tue 26th Aug 2008 17:59 UTC in reply to ";-O"
hurdboy Member since:
2005-09-02

People seem to be using Vim a lot more these days, even though emacs is clearly better.

I use nano for everyday things (e.g. config files), and emacs when I'm doing development.

Reply Score: 0

RE[2]: ;-O
by wowtip on Tue 26th Aug 2008 20:16 UTC in reply to "RE: ;-O"
wowtip Member since:
2005-07-14

Try Zile for everyday things. Super light emacs. ;)

http://www.gnu.org/software/zile/

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: ;-O
by UltraZelda64 on Tue 26th Aug 2008 21:26 UTC in reply to "RE: ;-O"
UltraZelda64 Member since:
2006-12-05

People seem to be using Vim a lot more these days, even though emacs is clearly better.

Better at everything other than actually editing text files, maybe. Although I suck at using both, I find that vim is much more my style, and stays true to the UNIX spirit: to do one thing, and do it well. I don't know why they haven't come out with an entire OS based on emacs yet. While I don't have the motivation to learn either one completely, I already know that for me, vim would be more comfortable for me to use.

I tend to stick with nano, mcedit or joe when on the command line, and Leafpad/Mousepad, gedit, or Geany when in a GUI. I recall kate being nice but, well, I don't use KDE or Qt-based apps (just switched from Xfce to Gnome), so I don't use it.

On Windows? Nothing beats good ol' metapad. I actually missed that app quite a bit when I first moved to Linux. It's basically someone's reinvention of Notepad, meaning very small, lightweight and similar in looks, and it contains many extra features including proper support for UNIX text... and being primarily on Linux machines these days, UNIX-text support is even more important now than I first started using metapad. It's pretty bad that Microsoft refuses to include such a trivial feature in such an antique program it *still* ships with its new operating systems.

Reply Score: 5

Gedit!
by benhonghu on Tue 26th Aug 2008 15:57 UTC
benhonghu
Member since:
2008-08-24

Currently using Gedit, having dumped IDEs like Eclipse. Feels okay except double click select is broken.

Reply Score: 2

He missed all three of the editors I use.
by rcsteiner on Tue 26th Aug 2008 16:23 UTC
rcsteiner
Member since:
2005-07-12

He didn't include NEdit, FTE, or PICO. And Midnight Commander's internal editor is actually what I tend to use for quick-and-dirty editing in both Solaris and Linux these days. So he missed four.

Of course, there are so many text editor choices that it would be hard to miss someone's favorite, but NEdit is a rather major (and to me surprising) omission...

Edited 2008-08-26 16:24 UTC

Reply Score: 5

cjcoats Member since:
2006-04-16

...and nedit is available on LOTS of platforms where few of the others are -- AIX or Solaris, for example... Some of us live in a multi-platform universe. And have trouble getting our heads around emacs ;-( .

Reply Score: 1

olefiver Member since:
2008-04-04

I don't think it's all that suprising to not include NEdit, since the last NEdit release came in 2004 and it still uses Motif toolkit.
So since NEdit hasn't got any release presscoverage for 4 years and uses a, in comparison to others, outdated toolkit, I'd be suprised if the author had even heard of NEdit ;)

But NEdit should be on the list, great as it certainly is.

btw, he does include nano and specifies that nano is a clone of PICO

Edited 2008-08-26 17:22 UTC

Reply Score: 1

Doc Pain Member since:
2006-10-08

And Midnight Commander's internal editor is actually what I tend to use for quick-and-dirty editing in both Solaris and Linux these days. So he missed four.


Same here, too, at least for the Midnight Commander's editor, mcedit. I even use it for HTML hacks and even ragularly for LaTeX documents. For me, one of the essential tools on a UNIX system (FreeBSD and Solaris here).

Reply Score: 2

medit
by chemical_scum on Tue 26th Aug 2008 17:11 UTC
chemical_scum
Member since:
2005-11-02

wot no medit

Reply Score: 2

mcedit
by evert on Tue 26th Aug 2008 18:01 UTC
evert
Member since:
2005-07-06

For beginners / newbies to the CLI, mcedit is very easy to use. And it suports syntax highlighting, too.

I use vi to edit configuration files, Geany for programming and complex search and replace, and Gedit for quick and dirty notes.

Reply Score: 2

Because 20 text editors
by rockwell on Tue 26th Aug 2008 19:13 UTC
rockwell
Member since:
2005-09-13

... just simply isn't enough. An even 2 dozen would be even better! It's all about choice, baby!

Reply Score: 2

How many Linux text editors...
by fretinator on Tue 26th Aug 2008 20:21 UTC
fretinator
Member since:
2005-07-06

How many Linux text editors does it take to change a light-bulb?
------------------------------
None! A light bulb is a closed, proprietary, non-free system. Users of Gnu/Linux only use candles. You can:

0. Use the candle for any purpose, such as such as providing light for one of you eleven homes.

1. You are free to study the candle and modify it for your own use - perhaps add a cheeseburger scent!

2. You are free to give your candle, or a copy of your candle to your neighbor, although it probably shouldn't look like Richard Stallman.

3. You are free to improve the candle, and distribute your new and improved version to the world. Unfortunately you must be aware that Amazon has patented the "one-wick" system, and you may be prohibited from using a candle in your Windows

Reply Score: 5

RE: How many Linux text editors...
by evangs on Wed 27th Aug 2008 07:00 UTC in reply to "How many Linux text editors..."
evangs Member since:
2005-07-07

4. If you need light bulbs you're clearly a noob and will be shouted down by zealots. Candles are just the same as light bulbs, so who needs light bulbs anyway?
5. Don't bother complaining that your candle gets blown out. It works for us so it should work for you.

Reply Score: 3

Notepad++
by ebasconp on Tue 26th Aug 2008 23:18 UTC
ebasconp
Member since:
2006-05-09

Do you know if is there a port of Notepad++ to *NIX?
Notepad++ is a great text editor.

By the way, does someone know if there is a way to:
* Setting up Kate to support tabs [like KDevelop or Notepad++]

* Setting up KAte to show the FS tree in the left? [like Notepad++] ?

Reply Score: 2

RE: Notepad++
by dnebdal on Wed 27th Aug 2008 13:24 UTC in reply to "Notepad++"
dnebdal Member since:
2008-08-27

Yes, you can do both of those. In Kate from KDE 4, you have to do Settings -> configure kate -> Application/plugins, and enable Tab Bar and Filesystem Browser. ( http://djn.homeunix.net/bilder/kate/ , if you want illustrations.)

In the version of Kate from KDE 3 I have here, the file system browser is enabled by default, but the tab bar isn't in the plugins list. I know I've used it once, though, so it does exist ... somewhere.

Reply Score: 3

no mousepad?
by Dryhte on Wed 27th Aug 2008 07:10 UTC
Dryhte
Member since:
2008-02-05

They forgot about Mousepad... I love it though.

Reply Score: 2

Plan 9 - Sam?
by Kebabbert on Wed 27th Aug 2008 07:55 UTC
Kebabbert
Member since:
2007-07-27

Anyone tried Sam? The editor of Plan 9? Many of the old gurus, Stroustrup, Kernighan etc seems to have switched to Sam. I wonder why. Is it that good?

Reply Score: 1

Emacs
by wobster on Wed 27th Aug 2008 21:13 UTC
wobster
Member since:
2005-08-03

That article is superfluous. Emacs has it all.

Reply Score: 1

Vim, gedit and sometimes kile
by spaceLem on Thu 28th Aug 2008 03:25 UTC
spaceLem
Member since:
2007-07-26

I do a lot of maths programming (simulation of populations and disease etc.), and writing of mathematical papers. I usually use vim for everything, but sometimes I use gedit when I'm feeling lazy, and I usually write my LaTeX in kile. When I'm working on a remote server there's no substitute for vim.

I'll readily admit that vim can be intimidating, but once you learn the basics, you can work really quickly. I have RSI, so I can't really use a mouse. I tried emacs a few times, but it hurt my wrists too much, and I really didn't like it.

Reply Score: 1

editor omissions
by Rugxulo on Thu 28th Aug 2008 08:26 UTC
Rugxulo
Member since:
2007-10-09

I'll admit right off the bat, I'm not really a *nixer as most people here. Still, sometimes good editors work on both sides of the fence. I'll just list a few that haven't been mentioned yet that I like (at least in theory if not practice too):

TDE, FED, Mined, SETEDIT, mbedit, VILE (and XVI, NVI, SteVIe, Elvis, etc.), ZED, JASSPA MicroEmacs, etc. etc. etc. :-))

Reply Score: 1