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Tlousky (9495)

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Journal of Tlousky (9495)

Sunday November 22, 2009
05:39 AM

Padre - coding and editing in comfort

[ #39928 ]

For a while now, I've been under some pressure to adopt vim as my default text (and code) editor. This stems from the very harsh fact, that in my type of job (which now involves a lot of sys and net administration), I often have almost no reasonable alternative to it.

When I hook up into a remote server, vim is often the only highly functional editor with syntax highlighting.

At the beginning it was absolute hell. The very basic copy & paste seemed so elusive, and getting used to editing and command modes was pretty difficult. But I made all the necessary efforts, acquired a whole book dedicated to vim and printed out all the shortcuts and keyboard commands in a nice little booklet.
And I can honestly say now that I'm perfectly fine with this text editor and get what I want from it fairly smoothly and quickly.

But that doesn't mean I'm happy with it. I know this is the laughing matter for hardened old-school Linux users, but I'm still vastly more comfortable with GUI based editors like Notepad++.

For some time now, an even better GUI based editor is around, designed especially for Perl programmers. I'm talking about Portable Padre, of course, an opensource text editor with many great plug-ins and a very comfortable interface.

Why am I more comfortable with this kind of editor? I'll use metaphors from the motorcycling world to illustrate this.
If vim is a spartan, razor-sharp superbike, with a powerful motor, rigid chassis and track configured suspension, Padre is a high tech sport-tourer with the latest technology and excellent components encompassed in a beautifully designed and extremely comfortable bodywork.
Maybe a world class superbike racer could ride the sportbike faster on the race-track, but on an ordinary, everyday environment, most people will be faster with the sport-tourer, and it can carry you comfortably for hours on end.

Padre has some very nice features which make it even more comfortable for Perl developers.
* You can easily execute your script with F5, and see the output in the output window.
* Recent versions have nice debugging aids, which include warnings for common errors such as undeclared variables and missing braces.
* Those of us who commonly write moduls can create them with Module::Starter through Padre's GUI.
* It's possible to show all functions on a nice frame on the right and jump between one and the other.
* Padre can be installed on either a Linux or Windows machine. It used to be difficult on Linux due to problems with installing Wx Widgets libraries, but now there's an official Ubuntu .deb package or a windows Binary installation file. Padre looks and works the same on any of the supported operating systems.
This short description doesn't even start to scratch the long list of features Padre has.

I recently had the opportunity to hear Padre's founder, SZABGAB, talk about the great plans Padre's developers have for it, which include an integration of the Perl Data Language, Parrot and other stuff.

But bottom line?
I use Padre because it's a beautifully designed, comfortable everyday editor.
Highly recommended for anyone who feels like he/she's sweating with vim or other editors.

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  • and you'll be able to use it on remote servers as well. However, if you login to many servers, sshfs would become uncomfortable pretty quick.

    The Padre team also have plans (and I think initial code as well) to support remote editing as well. You should check into that.

  • ... because I've had to fight somewhat to keep that list, instead of deprecating it for the all in one outline tree thingy.

    Personally, I don't need all the tree magic, the simple list is much more efficient for me.

  • But I'm embarrassed to say that I never tried out the outline until you mentioned it, and I actually like it even better... :-D

    Especially since I have quite a few MooseX::POE heavy scripts here, and seeing all the events along with the methods is pretty handy!

    But it's still nice to have just the functions in simpler scripts.