Bill Detwiler: Even if your a developer who does most ofyour work in an IDE, a good text editor is always handy to have.
I'm Bill Detwiler, and during this episode of TR Dojo, we'regoing to look at five free Windows text editors.
These days, most developers work inside an integrateddevelopment environment or IDE. But, there are still times when you need a texteditor.
So developer and TechRepublic blogger Justin James puttogether a list of five free (or open source) text editors that he feels areworth checking out.
First on his list is, Notepad++ -- quite possibly the mostpopular open source text editor for Windows.
It has several developer-friendly features, like syntaxhighlighting and regular expression search and replace. It recognizes all themajor programming languages and has a ton of plug-ins.
Second on Justin's list is an old favorite -- vi or it'smore-advanced sibling Vim.
Unlike many other text editors, vi's standard mode isn't"input text with access to commands", but rather command mode.Entering text is just one of many commands.
With its heavy emphasis on commands, vi has a steep learningcurve — but there’s a big productivity payoff for those who are willing tomaster this editor.
As Justin puts it, vi is a lot like using a *Nix shell. It’sa small programming environment that lets you easily accomplish tasks by stringcommands together.
Third on our list is another favorite of many *Nixdevelopers Emacs. Like vi, it's open source and also available on Windows andother platforms.
Over the years, Emacs has grown to be almost an operatingsystem unto itself, and it uses a Lisp interpreter to provide a macroenvironment. As a result, you see things like chess game plug-ins for Emacs.
If you want a text editor with ultra-powerful customizationcapabilities, Emacs is where it’s at. Just don't ask a group of *Nix code-headswhether Emacs is better than vi unless you want to start a fight.
The fourth editor on the list is Justin's personal favorite-- NoteTab.
It has most of the same features as Notepad++, but Justinbelieves it's a more refined and better-documented product.
The Light version of NoteTab is free, and with features likesuper-fast searching across directory structures and regular expression find/replace,NoteTab Light is definitely not light on features.
For devs who need more power, there are also Standard andPro versions, that cost $29.95 and $19.95 respectively.
Last on our list is SciTE.
It's a zero-install-needed application, and runs on bothWindows and X-based desktop environments. It also supports the usual codeediting features, like syntax highlighting and regular expression find/replace.
Like Notepad++, it is based on the Scintilla editor, so thetwo share a lot of capabilities.
Well that does it for Justin's list of five free, or opensource, text editors for developers. Be sure to check out the originalarticle's discussion thread. TechRepublic members were quick to share their favorites,like Textpad, Programmers Notepad, and Editra. I'll link to both in the TR Dojoblog.
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Thanks for visiting the TR Dojo.