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darobin (1316)

darobin
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http://berjon.com/

Journal of darobin (1316)

Thursday June 19, 2003
08:28 AM

Text editors for OS X

[ #12946 ]

Are there any decent ones? I mean really decent ones, like TextPad or Kate. None of that emacs, or vi, or bbedit sillyness. Thanks for any pointers!

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  • I've found BBEdit to easily surpass Textpad in almost every way so far - what about it don't you like?
    • I don't know where to start, it's all wrong! No tabs! No good at configurable indenting! Many many other things! And the HTML heritage bears heavily...

      --

      -- Robin Berjon [berjon.com]

      • BBEdit has been around a lot longer than it has been used for HTML, and I don't think you could point at much of significance that you would use for coding that comes directly from its HTML features.

        BBEdit is not perfect, but it is the best editor out there, bar none. :)
        • When I tried it half the menus were covered with HTML-related stuff. Perhaps that's changed, and perhaps they can be removed. It doesn't give a first good impression. On second impression, I found a shortage of shortcuts to navigate around text. Again, probably configurable but points to a more mouse-oriented approach which I dislike (a general reproach for most things Mac it would seem -- I tend to expect at the very least Ctrl-arrow, Ctrl-Shift-arrow, Ctrl-Backspace-arrow, Ctrl-Del-Arrow where "arrow"

          --

          -- Robin Berjon [berjon.com]

          • When I tried it half the menus were covered with HTML-related stuff.

            You may have been using Bizarro BBEdit ... only one of the menus is related to HTML, the one called "Markup". And you can even turn it off, last I checked. And it was never more than that. There are a few other places in the menus where you may see HTML stuff (like under Window -> Palettes), but that is about it for menus.

            A good 1/4 - 1/3 of the Preferences are related to HTML, but those can be ignored if you don't use it for HTML.
            • The strict minimum I need for text navigation is:

                jump word
                end/start-line
                select word
                select to end/start-line
                select line
                jump to matching bracket
                select brackets inner
                select brackets outer
                jump paragraph
                select paragraph
                select inter-paragraph
                end/start-file
                select to end/start-file
                select-page-up/down
                delete-word
                backspace-word
                delete to start/end of line

              I've probably forgot a few, but witho

              --

              -- Robin Berjon [berjon.com]

              • Some of those are handled using standard Mac OS key commands. For example, opt-arrow jumps words, and opt-shift-arrow selects words as you jump (shift selects, remember that you can usually add shift to a function to select whatever you are doing).
                Some of them may not be supported by Mac OS standards or by BBEdit's basic functionality, but BBEdit also has an emacs mode, where it supports all emacs key commands ... of course, we know how you feel about emacs. :-)
                • Yes, I didn't say there were none of them! Default win/lin OS settings don't have enough to my taste either (I tend to want to use those anywhere I can type text in). Thankfully Textpad and Kate solve that nicely.

                  I saw that Qt/Mac was just release (yay!). I'll see if I can get Kate running after work :)

                  --

                  -- Robin Berjon [berjon.com]

                  • Yes, I didn't say there were none of them!

                    I am saying that with emacs mode turned on, I am fairly certain ALL of them are supported.
                    • Yes, but then I never managed to remeber how many chickens to sacrifice... I have a terrible memory like that.

                      --

                      -- Robin Berjon [berjon.com]

                    • But that is a lot of functions you mentioned ... I don't know how you could memorize all of them in any case if you have a problem memorizing them for emacs.
                    • They're all consistent, using always the same modifiers combination (and only Ctrl and Shift), with "obvious" special keys arrows, end, home, pg-up, pg-down, and backspace, del.

                      --

                      -- Robin Berjon [berjon.com]

          • Oh, you mean tabs so you can have multiple documents in one window. Well, most programs don't have that. I am not a big fan of tabs, but YMMV.

            Besides, with Exposé in Mac OS X 10.3, you won't need tabs. :-)
            • Yeah, those tabs :) I can't live without tabs. No tabs means not an option. I've looked at Exposé, it does look like it'll help for a lot of the misery I feel switching between windows on OS X, but it ain't like tabs. I don't want to see lots of miniatures of the stuff I'm editing (especially as I often have several dozen files open simultaneously), I want to see little tabs with a title so that I can tab through them!

              --

              -- Robin Berjon [berjon.com]

  • I thought there was a Perl plugin for CodeWarrior, but I could be imagining things. What about Eclipse with the Perl plugins?
  • Before you ask for something that is not emacs, you must first explain what you find as its faults.
    --
    • Randal L. Schwartz
    • Stonehenge
    • Well I'm usually pretty fast at learning stuff. I tried to get to work with emacs three times (including last week). After two hours I can vaguely remember how to get around and do a few basic things. The next day it's gone no matter what.

      It simply won't get in. Whoever's idea that is of a usable interface doesn't come from my planet :)

      --

      -- Robin Berjon [berjon.com]

      • Hmm. Sounds like people when they are beginning Perl. {grin}

        Yes, Emacs takes a bit to get familar. But once you're there... it's an amazing tool.

        --
        • Randal L. Schwartz
        • Stonehenge
        • Well I picked up Perl a *lot* faster ;) I don't doubt that it may be an amazing tool, I just don't happen to have three spare weeks with nothing else to do :-/ A text editor should be easy to pick up. I don't care if I have to struggle to fine tune it later, but the basics should be so that at least I can start using it before I know more.

          And that's how it differs from Perl: "baby emacs" is already way too hard.

          --

          -- Robin Berjon [berjon.com]

    • Yes, but that requires X+KDE+Qt+Kate, eventually I may do that but I need to get started and not to spend three days installing software ;) Thanks!

      --

      -- Robin Berjon [berjon.com]

      • Trolltech is releasing a Cocoa-native version of Qt under the GPL.

        I don't know if that means you will be able to compile KDE+Qt+Kate without any intervening X bits, but it's certainly a start.