Aubrey Portwood

The winner for the Editor war may be Vim/gVim

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Now at:

So, after duke-ing it out in the text-editor civil war, I think I have decided on a winner: Vim. Why?

  • It’s open source
  • Vim will not die
  • It’s on most Unix systems, and I use Vi all the time anyways
  • It’s highly customize-able

I’ve got most of Vim working for my to edit HTML, CSS, Javascript and PHP. I am still having some problems with automatic tabbing, but I think I will be able to resolve that. Because Vim is so customize-able, it ousted using Sublime Text, Komodo Edit had it going for itself until I loaded a 2000+ line file and it wouldn’t even do sytax highlighting without slowing down; plus it loaded like a turtle running up sand! Editra was promising, but it still needs developing. I also gave e text editor a shot, but because it is closed source, it just can’t be trusted (even though they claim it is being opened up). I just don’t get the idea of having a code editor that is closed source. An editor like that just can’t make it, I believe, as a robust editor.

Notepad++ was always in the running as my previous favorite editor. But, it’s messy; just as messy as Vim, but it isn’t cross platform and is slightly more difficult than Vim (once you get to know Vim a little more). As for now, I am going to stick with Vim and see how it goes. I spent a lot of time today getting it to act quasi-Vim/quasi-normal-editor. I’ve been able to get it to:

  • Be in insert mode by default, hitting <ESC> enters command mode
  • Tab blocks of code using <TAB> and Shift<TAB>
  • Auto-Indent most things (though it gets confused when in HTML mode and I start doing PHP)
  • ZenCoding
  • Surround code with HTML tags
  • Edit HTML and PHP together

If I keep at it, I may get Vim to behave just the way I want it. I hope that, later, I can release all the customization I’ve made so that others can have it too.

(I’ll update this with a video of my playing with Vim tomorrow.)