Best Text Editor for Coding?

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Posted on September 20, 2017 by

I’ve been using text editors for coding, since I have been coding.

When I got started with Unix, of course it was vi. I never was an emacs user, there was just too much going on with it.

For a long time, in the early days of  Windows NT, I used TextPad as a trial version. With Windows 2000, it has been Editpad. I needed an editing app that could open bigger files than Notepad, like app log files.

I gravitated back to TextPad in 2003 and started using the plugins for syntax highlighting, and learned to love the Regular expression search and replace.

When I went to the Build conference in 2014, it was Sublime Text everywhere. That was quite a nice transition, because Sublime is multi platform, Mac and Windows, pretty smoothly.

However, in 2015 Sublime was disappearing and Visual Studio Code was on the scene. It is the de-facto editor for all the Microsoft folks, and many others. It also is multi-platform, with the Mac version working nicely.

Today I switch between Sublime text and Visual Studio code. I use Sublime text as the text editor, and default viewer for .txt and .log files. I use Visual Studio Code as the default editor for all sorts of code files, when I do not want to open them up in their native UI. Sometimes it is more convenient to just open a .cs file in code, than to fire up the whole project in Visual Studio. Visual Studio 2017 is great, and probably the best IDE at this time, but it can be over kill if you just want to review a few lines of code.

I just got word about Geany, from someone who is learning C++ as a college freshmen. As a collegue pointed out, “they are still teaching C++ as a beginning language?” Of all the editors available, I cannot figure out why that one, other than it has some traction in the Linux community.

I don’t see myself switching to that real soon, as I don’t work on much C++. But I don’t think there is a Geany vs. Sublime vs. Visual Studio Code vs. TextPad. Each has a possible place in the toolbox.

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