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Author Topic: UltraEdit 11 - Best text editor?  (Read 36151 times)
Sentinel
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« on: April 24, 2005, 07:52:50 AM »

Another excellent Saturday review.  I've been a user of UltraEdit for many years and find it indispensible for day to day text editing use, such as logs, ini files, reg exports, config files, generic text and program dumps.  From my viewpoint the main strengths in its favour is its small size, fast handling of files of all sizes, unicode support, ability to run self-contained from a USB memory stick and cheap(ish) price.  I almost forgot to mention, the support is fantastic and IDM are always willing to listen (and often implement) new suggestions.  It also has a lively support forum with expert users who are always willing to help with any aspect of the program.

For developing I find the compiler integration and flexibility of MultiEdit a much better choice.  Almost the entire product is based on compilable macros with the source included.  It is expensive though, so unless you are going to spend a lot of time using it or your company is paying, it can be rather tough to justify the price.  Unfortunately it *still* doesn't support unicode format files despite myself and others requesting it over many years.

We'll see how well IDM competes with the upcoming version of UltraEdit for Programmers, UltraStudio.

Another interesting point regarding UltraEdit is IDM also offer an unlimited upgrades version for around the same cost of a single upgrade to MultiEdit ($100 approx).  I don't think you'll ever regret paying that much for a lifetime of support and updates.

Thanks for letting me express my viewpoint on such a great site!  smiley
« Last Edit: April 24, 2005, 07:59:08 AM by Sentinel » Logged

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mouser
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« Reply #1 on: April 24, 2005, 08:19:09 AM »

great post sentinel; nice to hear some other aspects of ultraedit that i didn't mention.

have you tried slickedit yet?  slickedit and multi-edit seem like they are going after the same audience; both are very expensive though.

ultraedit studio looks extremely interesting.
here's a little easter egg of sorts.  in the ultraedit help file, search for compiler.  you'll find some fascinating pages there that look like that are the begining of ultraedit studio help file and configuration dialogs.  really looks like its going to have very good compiler support.  as a c++ compiler junkie that sounds like heaven to me.

the surprise for me in this weeks review was how full featured this freeware pspad was.. i did not expect that.
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mouser
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« Reply #2 on: April 24, 2005, 08:28:39 AM »

very good point about the forum; i will add that to the review, as that is an important aspect to choosing a program.
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« Reply #3 on: April 24, 2005, 01:47:22 PM »

Thanks for the review. I knew this one would be contentious, and I expected UltraEdit to win, but of course I still side with EditPlus. To be fair, I haven't used UltraEdit since around version 8 or so, but I've found no compelling reasons to give it another go over EditPlus.

One thing I would like to point out is that there is a column mode in EditPlus, by default it's bound to Alt-C, and it's the first item in the context menu if you right click in a edit window. I wish I had pitched EditPlus a bit more, in the hope it would take the top spot, but alas, I don't think I could shout over the top of all the UltraEdit fans around here. ;]

Another neat feature of EditPlus (which other editors have, I'm sure) is what it calls "Allow Virtual Space", which, when enabled (see Edit -> Allow Virtual Space), will let you place the cursor anywhere in the edit window and start typing, padding with spaces if you're not at the start of a line. I find this to be useful, and a real productivity saver in conjunction with column select if I'm working with column oriented data. KEDIT has a similar feature, but KEDIT is about as esoteric as text editors get on Windows, being essentially a souped-up version of XEDIT from IBM mainframe (MVS) days. I suspect there are way more people using VIM on Windows than KEDIT or other XEDIT clones. =]
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mouser
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« Reply #4 on: April 24, 2005, 06:15:39 PM »

I've updated the review to indicate that EditPlus has a column mode.

to me column mode is a really important feature and it's presence, or lack of, separates the top tier editors from the rest, so i apologize for missing it.  it is well hidden though.

EditPlus is indeed a nice editor.

In a way it's hard to do a review like this, focusing on a "best", when you have some very close contenders - the winner gets all the attention while the others get barely a mention.  i did try this time to be really clear about the fact that differences were not that great, and tried to list most of the serious text editors i could find, to give them some exposure.

For some reviews, like website watcher, it's easy to pick a clearly best app.  for something like text editor, it's much much harder, and personal tastes or small featureset differences could easily sway a particular person to prefer one over the other.  On the other hand, i still think there is value in choosing one app to focus on and making a recommendation in favor of it.

But perhaps in cases where things are so tight, we should consider some kind of symbol to indicate when an alternative program should really be considered.  It's a catch-22 really, if i only list the top 3 alternative apps, people get sad that their favorite app isn't listed. But if i list a large number of alternatives, then it's hard to separate the 2nd best from the wanne bes.

That's why for text editor i tried to list for each one it's implementation of those features i consider most important, in hopes that it would help people to more quickly filter out candidates.

The other thing is that these reviews/awards can sometimes be more about the general subject of task then the app.  90% of the text editor review could really be viewed as "Text Editors: What They Do and What Features To Look For", and written in a way that was agnostic about the actual tool; many of the features that are talked about in the center of the review are in fact features shared by most editors.. and then only at the end recommending UltraEdit.

It may be something to think about whether the weekly reviews wouldn't be better suited if they were done more like guides, with a final recommendation of best app, but not so focused on the winner throughout..  Although it does make it a little harder to discuss feature sets in general.
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zridling
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« Reply #5 on: April 25, 2005, 01:54:24 AM »

It may be something to think about whether the weekly reviews wouldn't be better suited if they were done more like guides, with a final recommendation of best app, but not so focused on the winner throughout.
Another great review, mouser. I'm impressed with how deep you dived into UltraEdit and was able to detect its weaknesses as well as strengths juxtaposed to the other editors. Regarding the quote above, I would allow that to be a different type of review, a "class/category" review rather than a "Best" award. No harm in taking that approach if their are many good choices and the field is unsettled. PSPad's performance really takes a hit when Word Wrap is on, and though it doesn't have many features, I wish every app had as elegant an interface as NotePad++. Like DNM, I have an affinity for EditPlus, and I think it stems from the fact that I can customize it to how I want to work.

Did anyone notice how many of the apps could almost be classified as abandonware? NoteTab, EditPlus, TextPad, Crimson Editor are a few that haven't had a major upgrade in years. If I had the brains for programming, I'd spend it building a better text editor, but I got looks instead. Wink
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mouser
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« Reply #6 on: April 25, 2005, 02:29:58 AM »

i should probably add info to the list of editors regarding which ones are actively developed and have active forums.
let me check performance with word wrap, that would be something really worth mentioning.
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mouser
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« Reply #7 on: April 25, 2005, 02:36:05 AM »

WOW
word wrapping it totally F*CKED in pspad.

yipes this sucks
i think i'm going to have to modify the review.
this is not acceptable.

its totally brought the program to a halt and also doesnt work right.
what a shame.
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mouser
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« Reply #8 on: April 25, 2005, 02:49:04 AM »

i've updated the review and withdrawn our recommendation of pspad - this is simply too big a problem and disqualifies PSPad from a recommendation.

i'll make a post on pspad forum; im sure they know about it but its worth mentioning to them again.
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mouser
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« Reply #9 on: April 25, 2005, 02:57:01 AM »

I posted on PSPad forum:

http://forum.pspad.com/re...f=2&i=6709&t=6709

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mouser
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« Reply #10 on: April 25, 2005, 04:51:07 AM »

i think what we will try to do from now on, is try make the review available a couple of days ahead of time to members of the elite ASRT members, for early comment and review.

this would avoid the scenario just experienced where one of the members on this forum knows better than the reviewer of a flaw in a program or error in the review, and let us fix these things before the review goes public.
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SindbaD
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« Reply #11 on: April 25, 2005, 08:02:42 AM »

Hello,
I don't agree with your review.
First: PsPad's word wrapping really has a big bug (but it's bug is coming from Synedit, the base component of PsPad, as far as I know), but PsPad has a lot of other features which are make it more useful as any other editor.
Because word wrapping can be avoided, but other features, as interactive clips, templates, scripting, etc... make the work with PsPad more fast than with other editors.

Second: Description of VIM contains some serious mistakes:
- VIM has code folding!!! Even, VIM has great code folding: You can use code folding as your convenient, it can be based on code structure, or you can set it manual, these can be nested, etc...  It is fully customizable!
- VIM search: absolutely not poor! When you use dialog box, it's simple, yes. But if you youse search/replace in command mode you have a lot of option to fine tune search and replace, even searched words can be highighted, you can jump over matched words forward/backward, you can replace them as you want, you can use reguar expressions, you can use search history, etc...
Please correct the description.
Regards: SindbaD
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SindbaD
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« Reply #12 on: April 25, 2005, 08:07:19 AM »

And one more thing:
Perhaps You don't know some editors: zeus and boxer are shareware editors but seems to be better than most of that you descriped. You should try them.
Regards: SindbaD
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SindbaD
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« Reply #13 on: April 25, 2005, 08:12:24 AM »

I'm again:)
Now I discovered You wrote that VIM has no column mode and hex mode:(
It has both of them!!
Column mode is usable in Visual mode, hex mode also available.
Reading manual is very useful before giving false information...
Regards: SindbaD
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mouser
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« Reply #14 on: April 25, 2005, 08:24:21 AM »

hi sinbad; i'm going to try boxer now; i've tried zeus a while ago for programming and was not satisfied but i haven't used it in a while and i will evaluate it now for text editing. i will report back.

i probably shouldn't have included vim in my original review at all - i understand some keyboard-centric people like it but it is just too unintuitive for me to really consider it seriously. but i thought i should mention it for people who like such things.  reading the built in help is extremely painful, and i couldnt find any hex/column modes.. could you tell me how to use them?
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SindbaD
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« Reply #15 on: April 25, 2005, 08:51:11 AM »

Hi mouser,
Reading VIM help is really painful, but sometimes necessary:)
- Column mode: if VIM is installed, in vim\doc directory read read index.txt and visual.txt
- Hex mode: switch to hex view: :%!xxd to back to normal view: :%!xxd -r
(I know it seems to be horrible, but it can be placed under a menu, and You don't need typing this always. If you have standard VIM menus, You can find it under Tools menu)
- Folding: See fold.txt. It's very easy to use.
Regards: SindbaD

PS: Could you explain what was your problem with zeus? In my opinion it's the 3rd editor (after Pspad and VIM) but I may wrong and I am interested which features You think are missing?
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mouser
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« Reply #16 on: April 25, 2005, 08:55:33 AM »

boxer added to review;
indeed it has some very nice features.

however it is also rendered completely unacceptable by a bad wordwrap implementation.
funny that's 2 good editors that i consider unusable because of their word-wrap functionality.

however i can see that making these reviews more open to member suggestions before publication is going to really improve their thoroughness; it's awfully hard for one person to know about every program in a class.
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SindbaD
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« Reply #17 on: April 25, 2005, 09:08:48 AM »

Yes.
I can give help if You need more details about next editors: VIM, PsPad, TextPad, Zeus. These are my favourites and I have experience of using them in daily routines.
Regards: SindbaD
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mouser
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« Reply #18 on: April 25, 2005, 09:13:54 AM »

im trying zeus again and im being very impressed with it as a text editor.
i can see you must know the field of programming editors quite well.
let me finish evaluating zeus and i'll repost.
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SindbaD
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« Reply #19 on: April 25, 2005, 09:21:08 AM »

Fine,
I am curious the result. You can focus of the templates in zeus, it's convenient and in the latest version, code folding is possible.
Have a good evaluation!
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Scott
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« Reply #20 on: April 25, 2005, 09:25:27 AM »

If an application has such poor usability that important features like code folding and column mode aren't obvious, then it deserves a poor review.  The poor review is deserved not because the features aren't there, but because they're not convenient.

Usability matters.

I've had discussions with confused people who would argue with me over this.  It usually goes something like this:

"CrapMaticX 0.0.0.0.0.0.0.0.2.1.0.5 doesn't have the ability to open files via FTP."

"shuttup yooze.  stop spreddin fud becuz yooze dont know how tew read the wiki.  its right there under wiki/stuff/1-001/hiddendocs/mystery.html.  all yooze need to do is add "Xftp-change REQ:1=enable|disconnect|4|parse" to the [CRAPPO] section of the config file, download the Qftp GML component and compile it, then take the Qftp GML DLL file and save it in a directory named \qml\extras\bin\final\test\unsure\plugin\ under the main app directory, and restart CrapMaticX 0.0.0.0.0.0.0.0.2.1.0.5.  if yooze are not using CrapMaticX 0.0.0.0.0.0.0.0.2.1.0.5 in console mode, yooze also need to download and compile the metasnap 0.0.0.1.0-alpha.tar file, then extract the source from that, edit the source so it runs on win32, then pseudo-compile it using Py2exe and put that file in \supp\test\random\src\ under the \plugins\whyme\ directory.  stop spreddin fud l00zer."

"OK, thanks.  Have a nice day.  How could the author possibly give this away for free?"
« Last Edit: April 25, 2005, 09:40:44 AM by Scott » Logged

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mouser
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« Reply #21 on: April 25, 2005, 09:37:13 AM »

usability definitely matters - if you see how i ammended the vim review you'll see my basic attitude.

i've finished updating the review and adding boxer and zeus.  i actually ended up recommending zeus at the end of the review as a very good cheap programming editor.  Again, this is really pushing the scope of the review, as if i was reviewing programming editors i would have included slickedit and multiedit, and others.  and both boxer and zeus have very poor wordwrapping, which basically disqualifies them as general purpose editors, in my way of thinking.  however, zeus+boxer are cheap enough that they probably deserve a mention.

as with other modifications, see the upper left of the review in the sidebar, for quick links to changes.

sinbad - you're alerting us to programs we missed is much appreciated - this is exactly what i had hoped would happen with these review forums - provide a way for members to help make sure the reviews are thorough.  i just would like to figure out a way to get the reviews up in draft form so we can have some comments before they go public.  we will try this from now on.
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SindbaD
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« Reply #22 on: April 25, 2005, 10:00:10 AM »

To mouser:
Thx for quick modifications.
Some notes:
- Column mode in zeus: just click on a text and move the mouse smiley that's all.
It's useful if You look into the help and find function list. There are built-in zeus functions described. There are several functions which are not under menus, but You can assign them to shortcuts.

- About VIM again:) I see, you changed your description. E.G: Code folding. Is it not convenient? You select text block and type "zv" or select  folding from menu. Is it not convenient enough? And don't forget: In VIM You can make menu or/and toolbar buttons for everything. After that inconvenient typing is not necessary.

I am not VIM fun, and I don't want to tell You that VIM is very convenient, but if You know using of features of that You can find it more efficient than any else.
For example, I would like to use only one editor, but I have to use VIM (as second editor) for complicated and large texts because I didn't find other editors that can manage folding and highlighting as professional as that.

Of course, 2-3 weeks needed to learn usage smiley

Regards and congratulations for your work.
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mouser
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« Reply #23 on: April 25, 2005, 11:19:33 AM »

perhaps i should add some comments about vim for hardcore users; i know there are people that swear by it.  for me, when i moved from using a text-only terminal to using a graphical OS, i decided that menus and buttons were a good thing, and i'm not a fan of these programs that can only be controlled by hitting 5-key alt+ctrl+escape combinations.

hehe column mode in zeus-- now its all column mode and i cant select anything BUT column mode, exactly as you said.

did i do something to put it into column mode, or is it ALWAYS in column mode and cant do normal selection, which would be much more insane!!! and can you figure out a way to get it to wrap on window boundry automatically without inserting CRs into source code?  if so i'd love to know.
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« Reply #24 on: April 25, 2005, 12:40:24 PM »

answering my own question, you can select the DEFAULT selection mode (column or line), and then use ctrl key to toggle.  column mode doesnt seem to be able to insert, but still its not a bad solution.
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