For a long time I’ve used NEdit as my editor. It has a number of annoying quirks, but it’s just about usable. Having just upgraded my desktop to Ubuntu, and found that NEdit compiled with LessTif has even more bugs, and looks really ugly (and I can’t work out in which file to put the X resources given in the beautification tutorial) I’m thinking about a replacement.
Given the general usefulness of editors, and the fact that everyone and his mother seems to have written one, you would have thought it would be quite easy to find one which meets my simple requirements. They are:
- Currently maintained (i.e. not abandonware)
- X application, decent-looking
- Good syntax highlighting
- Supports, or can be made to support, the key bindings embedded in my brain like Ctrl-C for Copy, Ctrl-V for paste, Tab to indent selection.
- No vi-like modes. Modal interfaces are bad.
- Supports standard Perl regexps in the search/replace box
Here’s what I’ve tried, and why I’ve rejected them:
- Looks like a dog in Ubuntu
- Copy and paste to other applications doesn’t work properly
- No regular expressions
- No key rebinding
- Doesn’t support proper regexps
- Spews pango errors into the console I launched it from (really irritating)
- Doesn’t notice when files have changed on disk
XEmacs is, I suppose, a possibility, but I’d need to spend an age converting its 1970s keybindings into what the rest of the world uses today. There are some good editors for KDE, but I’d rather not load all the KDE libs on my GNOME desktop just to get an editor. I suspect Eclipse would probably be far too heavyweight.
Anyone got any other ideas, or know anything I’ve missed about some of the above? If you comment, please let me know what editor you are using even if it doesn’t fit my requirements.