Text Editors - mind your language


(Andy Wootton) #1

I’ve realised how many languages have their own editor.

vi was written in C for coding on Unix, mostly in C. emacs was written in Lisp, for writing Lisp. I used an editor called TPU (Text Processing Utility) that could be customised and extended in Pascal, in a very similar way to emacs. Sublime is extendable in Python and Atom is written using web-technologies.

Are there others? Having a different editor for every language doesn’t seem any more desirable than having a different IDE on each OS to me. [waves to Visual Studio]


(Daniel Hollands) #2

Is the language that an editor is written in that important? As long as it has the features you desire, does it matter what it’s written in?

I assume you’re talking about just text editors here, not IDEs? I think IDEs are a whole different kettle of fish.


(Andy Wootton) #3

Yes, that’s my logic. By ‘Unix philosophy’ an editor is a tool that should do one thing well (like vi - COUGH! :slight_smile: but reading about emacs has made me notice that it’s happening all over. People seem to be adopting editors with the look and feel of their preferred language and environment, though most will probably never change anything about the editor. I’ve always gone for simplicity but I’m starting to question my choice.


(Marc Cooper) #4

I use Sublime, mostly, which is highly configurable and, by default, supports a large number of languages. (Ideal for me, because I use quite a few.) The fact it’s extensible via python is irrelevant to me as a user – well, it’s probably a good thing, as it stops me faffing about with it myself (since my python is rudimentary). More useful, is a good understanding of JSON, since its config files require it.

There was a trend a while back for languages to have a focussed editor. I remember ruby had one many moons ago. Other than the Jetbranis editors and VS (no idea what it supports these days), I haven’t noticed language-specific editors being a thing, tbh.


(Dom Barnes) #5

I don’t imagine many people use vi, vim or emacs for writing the language they were written in nowadays. I’ve heard of a lot of rails/ruby people using vim. I use Atom/ST3 to write a bunch of stuff (including Powershell). You could use TextEdit (macOS) if you wanted to. They’re really text editors, and thats all I really need.

Any language that requires an IDE inherently has its limitations to users. Having an open choice of text editors is whats makes programming great. There’s no enforced way to write code. Its one of the things thats bugs me about Visual Studio, and to a lesser extent, Xcode.

The first time I tried to use use VS to add a new button to a web page, the build failed, because I didn’t use VS, and when you create it in VS, it creates some code references in other files, that I didn’t know I needed.


(Andy Wootton) #6

I’ve come to emacs via Clojure which is a Lisp. Someone must maintain all that C in *x. :slight_smile:

I did a tiny bit of C#. I had more trouble with the ‘he!p’ VS gave me than the language. We didn’t get on.