Friday, September 14, 2007

Text Editors on Steroids

I have been working with text editors since the days of DOS. When I was introduced to UNIX and later Linux, text editors was the choice of development especially for web development. Of course a lot has changed since then but for programmers for a lot of tasks using a heavy development IDE is not the first choice.

I have been using Scite for a while now on Windows. Once I showed it to a friend of mine and his words were "this is like a Notepad for geeks". Today I came across a long list of powerful text editors available which I wanted to share with the rest of the world as well.

So why does a programmer use a text editor. A text editor is faster than an IDE, more responsive and the ones like Scite (window opens up within a second) are able to deal with multiple languages at the same time which is the norm in the world of web development. Of course its not able to give all the features that once gets in an IDE but then for tasks where only a small change is to be done in the code, waiting 20-30 seconds for the whole IDE to load can be cumbersome.

Scite has options for DOS batch files, ini files, conf files, Java, javascript, HTML, XML, C, C++, PHP, C#, vbscript, VB.NET, VB6 .... and the list goes on and on and on. The place I have found it to be the most handy is when I am parsing data or fixing data.

I have just read that Notepad++ also has a feature to save macros. Imagine a repetitive text editing routine all saved into a macro. So the next time you have to repeat that task, just run the macro.