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Last post Author Topic: Windows editors - do they have to be so bad?  (Read 51463 times)

rjbull

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Windows editors - do they have to be so bad?
« on: January 16, 2009, 08:32:17 AM »
I've just been looking at a few more Windows editors.  Originally, I was looking for these features:

  • Automatic back-ups
  • Bookmarks
  • Edit multiple files (tabbed interface?)
  • Ability to specify filters as external user tools (most seem to unable to cope with redirection symbols)

I looked at (freeware) Metapad, TED Notepad (great little editor), Crimson Editor (nice), PSPad, Notetab Light, PFE, Editor2, ConTEXT, and briefly at (payware) Boxer.  I have a copy of Notepad++ to try.  I'd be interested in further recommendations, but (correct me if I'm wrong) none of those I've seen so far seemed to have all the features I wanted.  Worse, another very serious lack became obvious: the Windows-Notepad idea of marking text is a feeble, crippled thing.  In almost all the Windows editors I've seen, you have to use the mouse, or Shift-arrow keys, to mark text.  If you press almost any other key, you lose the marked area and have to start again.  That means that if you want to mark a long piece of text, you have to keep tediously scrolling down and just hope you don't overshoot your target.

Compare this with WordStar-style editors.  You drop a Start Block marker with Control-K,B (^KB).  You can use ^QF Find to locate a target point, or ^QM/^Q1 to go to a bookmark - and the Start Block marker is unaffected while you do so.  When you've marked what you want, you drop an End Block marker with ^KK and the block is locked as a unit.  You can still whizz around the file without affecting your marked area.  It only becomes unmarked when you make a deliberate action to unmark it.  That's a far more efficient way than Notepad-style for handling text.  True, I believe Boxer and TED Notepad both have limited work-arounds, but not as good.

Do Windows editors really have to be so bad?  So much worse than my favourite WordStar-style DOS editor, VDE, at handling text?

Of course, WordStar is One True True Way for writers: here's author Robert Sawyer's manifesto on the subject.







housetier

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Re: Windows editors - do they have to be so bad?
« Reply #1 on: January 16, 2009, 09:02:13 AM »
maybe gvim is something for you. It keeps backups, it has a bookmark feature (line such-and-such in that file), lets you edit many files, has tabs, and you can filter a file or a selection or even a range of lines through any external program.

Vim and therefore gvim are free of charge. It comes with extended inline documentation about its features.

However, vim works in different modes: input mode and normal mode for example. This concept takes a little time getting used to; I think it works marvelous. :)

mrainey

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Re: Windows editors - do they have to be so bad?
« Reply #2 on: January 16, 2009, 09:55:26 AM »
You might look at UltraEdit.  I haven't used the feature, but "persistent selection" is available.  UE also handles multiple files and has bookmarks, a tabbed interface, backup options, user tools, and scripting.

http://www.idmcomp.com

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f0dder

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Re: Windows editors - do they have to be so bad?
« Reply #3 on: January 16, 2009, 11:16:09 AM »
It would be easy making a plugin for Notepad++ that has a limited version of your desired selection-mode: dropping a start-marker would provide no visual clue of your selection range, and once an end-marker is placed you'd be back to the usual "Any other keypress loses selection". If NP++ has the other features you need and you can live with this limited thing, let me know and I'll take a look at plugin creation.
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Carol Haynes

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Re: Windows editors - do they have to be so bad?
« Reply #4 on: January 16, 2009, 11:49:58 AM »
You could try EditPad too at http://www.editpadpro.com/

There is also a free lite version (see the link at the bottom of the left hand menu)

40hz

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Re: Windows editors - do they have to be so bad?
« Reply #5 on: January 16, 2009, 02:59:57 PM »
Take a look at SlickEdit.

http://www.slickedit.com/

Not cheap ($299), but several heavy-duty pro coders of my acquaintance swear by it. Supposedly, there's nothing it can't do.

There's a 30-day trial available on the website.

TucknDar

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Re: Windows editors - do they have to be so bad?
« Reply #6 on: January 16, 2009, 03:13:11 PM »
Don't know if it does all you want, but EditPadPro has a block select feature, where you press Ctrl+Shift+B to set a "start point" for your selection, then go to the end of wherever you want to select, press Ctrl+Shift+E and voilĂ : selected! It's not exactly what you were looking for, I realize, but at least you don't need to do all the scrolling.

f0dder

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Re: Windows editors - do they have to be so bad?
« Reply #7 on: January 16, 2009, 06:50:34 PM »
I wonder why some people are so obsessed with SlickEdit... it basically falls flat between a text editor and an IDE, not really knowing what it wants to be. It's too bloated for a text editor, and lacks the functionality you'd expect of a decent IDE. The pricetag certainly can't be justified when there's freeware editors like Notepad++, IDEs like Eclipse, and the free Microsoft Visual Studio Express...

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Shades

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Re: Windows editors - do they have to be so bad?
« Reply #8 on: January 16, 2009, 09:39:31 PM »
My friend, a die hard C/C++ developer recently moved from Borland C Builder 6 to their 2007 version. In the mean time he build a complete back-end software for member based banks (cooperativas) here in South America using Java and Eclipse. According to him most (if not all) IDE's may not even kiss the feet from Eclipse so to speak. Not even the 2007 version of Borlands product. He also concluded that .Net = .Not

Disclaimer: I'm no programmer, nor have I the desire to become one. From personal experience, it is quite intimidating (in a positive way) what power lies in Eclipse and its possibilities for expansion.

xtabber

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Re: Windows editors - do they have to be so bad?
« Reply #9 on: January 16, 2009, 10:46:16 PM »
Word processors and most text editors today work on a stream buffer principle - a single stream of text is interpreted and reformatted into lines on-screen. But there is another approach with roots in the IBM mainframe world: line-oriented editors in which each line of text is a separate record in a linked list. Line-oriented editors have certain limitations which make them unsuitable for some purposes (e.g., searching for multiline patterns) but they have many other benefits.

The best line-oriented editor for PCs is probably Kedit for Windows, an emulation of IBM's XEDIT mainframe editing environment. It's not likely to be anyone's only editor, but it provides capabilities unmatched by any other that I know of. One thing that I love about KfW is the selective editing: You can specify a target pattern and view only those lines that contain that pattern; you can then edit them as a block or toggle back and forth instantly between full and restricted views. You can also restrict edits to within vertical columns or inside rectangular blocks, overlay and fill blocks, etc.  Persistent blocks are independent of selected text so you can use both at the same time. KfWt operates entirely in RAM and is exceptionally fast.

KfW has all the capabilities asked for by the OP, although for the ability to use filters as external user tools, you would have to learn to use REXX, which is probably the least intuitive scripting language ever devised.

The Mansfield Software Group, which publishes Kedit, had planned to cease operations last year, but there apparently is still enough demand for it that they have decided to continue selling and supporting it through 2009.  KfW costs $129. You can get a demo version from their web site which is fully functional but will only save the first 75 lines of a file.


f0dder

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Re: Windows editors - do they have to be so bad?
« Reply #10 on: January 17, 2009, 03:41:08 AM »
According to him most (if not all) IDE's may not even kiss the feet from Eclipse so to speak.
Eclipse is a very decent IDE, especially considering that it's free. Saying that other IDEs can't "kiss it's feet" is a bit of a stretch though, Visual Studio is very powerful. However, it does by default lack the refactorings that Eclipse offer, for which you'll have to purchase Visual Assist (next version of VS is apparently going to have refactorings, though). Also, things seem to be a bit less integrated and a bit more clumsy when using Eclipse for C++ development compared to the ease of Java.

Not even the 2007 version of Borlands product. He also concluded that .Net = .Not
Seems interesting that he uses Java but says ".Net = .Not"... what does he base that on? Java definitely has it's problems (like, parts of it's class libraries having horrible design - date/calendar functions being a really obvious WTF).
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cranioscopical

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Re: Windows editors - do they have to be so bad?
« Reply #11 on: January 17, 2009, 09:52:06 AM »
The best line-oriented editor for PCs is probably Kedit for Windows, an emulation of IBM's XEDIT mainframe editing environment. It's not likely to be anyone's only editor, but it provides capabilities unmatched by any other that I know of.

+!  for Kedit  :Thmbsup:


Shades

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Re: Windows editors - do they have to be so bad?
« Reply #12 on: January 17, 2009, 12:17:22 PM »
[off-topic]
Hehe, I do remember him complaining about the date functions at some point in time. C/C++ you can develop on any platform, Java as well, .NET only on Windows (Mono is a 'band aid' in its current incarnations).

He can really go on (in a funny way) about which student is getting a chance to work/learn for his outfit. From those stories I understand that he poses little problems to them and asks for (programmatic) solutions and that he can (too) easily dig holes through solutions made by ('fresh') .NET programmers.
[/off-topic]


+1 for UltraEdit


     

40hz

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Re: Windows editors - do they have to be so bad?
« Reply #13 on: January 17, 2009, 01:32:04 PM »
I wonder why some people are so obsessed with SlickEdit...

Couldn't tell you. I use Notepad++ on Windows and KEdit on NIX. :Thmbsup:


f0dder

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Re: Windows editors - do they have to be so bad?
« Reply #14 on: January 17, 2009, 02:00:02 PM »
Hehe, I do remember him complaining about the date functions at some point in time. C/C++ you can develop on any platform, Java as well, .NET only on Windows (Mono is a 'band aid' in its current incarnations).
There's some truth to that - but from the project page, it seems like Mono has gotten quite far. And while Java is available for a lot of platforms, it isn't write-once-run-everywhere portable, unfortunately. Especially not in the field of cellular phone apps/games :)

He can really go on (in a funny way) about which student is getting a chance to work/learn for his outfit. From those stories I understand that he poses little problems to them and asks for (programmatic) solutions and that he can (too) easily dig holes through solutions made by ('fresh') .NET programmers.
Sounds pretty elitist. As if any fresh-outta-school programmer doesn't have a lot of holes in their knowledge/experience... your friend probably tries extra hard against dotNET programmers? :)
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TucknDar

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Re: Windows editors - do they have to be so bad?
« Reply #15 on: January 20, 2009, 01:50:41 PM »
Don't know if it does all you want, but EditPadPro has a block select feature, where you press Ctrl+Shift+B to set a "start point" for your selection, then go to the end of wherever you want to select, press Ctrl+Shift+E and voilĂ : selected! It's not exactly what you were looking for, I realize, but at least you don't need to do all the scrolling.
Actually, EditPadPro has something called "persistent selections" which means you can select something and don't lose selection when moving the text cursor.

Guess I still have a lot to learn about this text editor :-[

muntealb

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Re: Windows editors - do they have to be so bad?
« Reply #16 on: January 26, 2009, 03:37:47 AM »
I've just been looking at a few more Windows editors. 
I looked at (freeware) Metapad, TED Notepad (great little editor), Crimson Editor (nice), PSPad, Notetab Light, PFE, Editor2, ConTEXT, and briefly at (payware) Boxer. 
......................................
Compare this with WordStar-style editors.  You drop a Start Block marker with Control-K,B (^KB).  You can use ^QF Find to locate a target point, or ^QM/^Q1 to go to a bookmark - and the Start Block marker is unaffected while you do so.  When you've marked what you want, you drop an End Block marker with ^KK and the block is locked as a unit.  You can still whizz around the file without affecting your marked area.  It only becomes unmarked when you make a deliberate action to unmark it.  That's a far more efficient way than Notepad-style for handling text.  True, I believe Boxer and TED Notepad both have limited work-arounds, but not as good.
Do Windows editors really have to be so bad?  So much worse than my favourite WordStar-style DOS editor, VDE, at handling text?
Of course, WordStar is One True True Way for writers: here's author Robert Sawyer's manifesto on the subject.

EditPad Pro has a setting that automatically allows to use the shortcuts from Wordstar.

Options>Configure Toolbars and Menus>Keyboard Shortcuts>General Settings for Shortcuts>Use navigation keys from Wordstar>Apply Shortcuts from Wordstar

AbteriX

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Re: Windows editors - do they have to be so bad?
« Reply #17 on: January 27, 2009, 05:21:44 AM »
www.HippoEDIT.com
    * Automatic back-ups
    * Bookmarks
    * Edit multiple files (tabbed interface?)
    * Ability to specify filters as external user tools   
" is planed to implement"
Quote
http://forum.hippoed....php/topic,91.0.html
I would like to suggest an option for tools
to catch the output of an command line tool
and replace the text in current open document (or the selected part)
with this output.

thanks a for a suggestion for a feature. It was already on my list, but havent time yet to do it. But definitly would do.
Quote
http://forum.hippoed...4.msg476.html#msg476
But some kind of command bar, where you can enter commands from keyboard in verbal form with paramters etc is a good idea.
Especially when you would think about macro recorder etc, where such functinality would be necessary also.
And about this I can think and place into my todo

    * marking text, "Edit > Selection > Lock"  and  "Edit > Selection > Restore"


---

www.PSPad.com
    * Automatic back-ups
    * Bookmarks
    * Edit multiple files (tabbed interface?)
    *
    * marking text, "F8"=Start Block, ........,  "F8"=End Block and select all between
« Last Edit: January 27, 2009, 05:46:15 AM by AbteriX »

wraith808

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Re: Windows editors - do they have to be so bad?
« Reply #18 on: January 28, 2009, 09:39:09 AM »
I wonder why some people are so obsessed with SlickEdit... it basically falls flat between a text editor and an IDE, not really knowing what it wants to be. It's too bloated for a text editor, and lacks the functionality you'd expect of a decent IDE. The pricetag certainly can't be justified when there's freeware editors like Notepad++, IDEs like Eclipse, and the free Microsoft Visual Studio Express...



I use it; I'm not obsessed with it- it is one tool in my toolbox.  But when I don't feel like waiting for Visual Studio to load, and want something lighter that I can just edit/compile/check-in/out projects in that supports multiple platforms in one project, I pull it out.  It also supports brief which most editors these days overlook, so that's a big plus for me.

f0dder

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Re: Windows editors - do they have to be so bad?
« Reply #19 on: January 29, 2009, 07:34:30 AM »
I use it; I'm not obsessed with it- it is one tool in my toolbox.  But when I don't feel like waiting for Visual Studio to load, and want something lighter that I can just edit/compile/check-in/out projects in that supports multiple platforms in one project, I pull it out.  It also supports brief which most editors these days overlook, so that's a big plus for me.
When I test-drove SlickEdit, the difference in time between starting SE and VS was pretty irrelevant - to the point that SE felt pretty pointless to me :)
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iphigenie

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Re: Windows editors - do they have to be so bad?
« Reply #20 on: January 30, 2009, 08:36:03 AM »
I have slickedit, an old version, and still use it. If it wasn't too expensive to justify for my own use I would probably have bought the newer version too. If there's ever an upgrade deal in the $99 range I would buy, but at 299 I'll have to wait till I can make a client or company buy it for me :D

It is indeed a tool with the flexibility of an editor but the key power of an IDE

It was the one tool back in 2001 that could do perl and php and python and not only for syntax highlighting but also structural things (like showing you syntax hints for the language features but also your own methods, integration with debugging etc.). it doesnt have all the wizard-ey generation thingies that an IDE would have but I must admit i mistrust these.

When I want an IDE to play with frameworks and code generation expecially in languages I dont master anymore, I have netbeans (except for perl). When I want a simple editor to deal with one file I use ConTEXT (or crimson, or cream), but when I want to work on my own projects, I return to Slickedit

broken85

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Re: Windows editors - do they have to be so bad?
« Reply #21 on: January 30, 2009, 11:41:35 AM »
Surprised that this hasn't been mentioned, unless I missed something, but I absolutely love EmEditor.

It supports several types of automatic backups, stored bookmarks in files, a nice tabbed interface, etc.

Not sure exactly what you're looking for with filters, however. EmEditor supports all types of data (text, binary, hex, etc) and includes RegEx find/replace support. If you go with the pro version (totally worth it) you also get many great plugins included.
--
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Darwin

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Re: Windows editors - do they have to be so bad?
« Reply #22 on: January 30, 2009, 01:44:12 PM »
Surprised that this hasn't been mentioned, unless I missed something, but I absolutely love EmEditor.

It supports several types of automatic backups, stored bookmarks in files, a nice tabbed interface, etc.

Not sure exactly what you're looking for with filters, however. EmEditor supports all types of data (text, binary, hex, etc) and includes RegEx find/replace support. If you go with the pro version (totally worth it) you also get many great plugins included.

Given emeditor's popularity on DC - it's absence from this thread until your posting IS odd!

Just my two-bits: I use both EditPad Pro and Ultra-Edit and love them both. EditPad Pro has a better UI than Ultra-Edit though, in my opinion...

Another option might be Boxer, which I've only run as trial once and briefly at that. The trial was brief because I had one of those rare lucid moments wherein I thought "Hang on, I already have licences for more text editors than I need! Why tempt myself with possibly buying another one?"!

http://www.boxersoftware.com/

David, the developer, has been active on the boards in the past and has offered discounts to DC members in the past as well.


EDIT: Learn to READ, Darwin, ya bum!
"Some people have a way with words, other people,... oh... have not way" - Steve Martin
« Last Edit: January 30, 2009, 01:46:39 PM by Darwin »

jack99999

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Re: Windows editors - do they have to be so bad?
« Reply #23 on: February 01, 2009, 07:31:28 AM »
well, i hate to get dragged in to discussions like this one. editors are worse than religion...

for about 25 years i've been using barry's emacs. first on VAX/VMS, then on various flavours of windows, and occasionally on linux.

it's a very small emacs, but there is a huge flexibility that lets me do, for example:

  • i can mark a region the windows way.
  • i can mark a region by setting a mark and navigating to whereever and setting another mark.
  • i can do bookmarks.
  • not sure about what automatic backups are, but emacs will write out checkpoint files after an elapsed time or after a specified number of changes. additionally, it will journal the changes and recover. it's possible to have both checkpointing and journalling!
  • i wrote my own function to view just the lines that match a pattern. i can navigate from there, or make changes there and apply them back to the original buffer.
  • i can have as many paste buffers as i like.
  • i load hundreds of files into the editor
  • i can edit files that have millions of characters on a single line

...and so on. i haven't got a tabbed interface... and what happens to a tabbed interface if you load 100 files?

the editor is at http://www.barrys-emacs.org/ and you would probably need a bit of advice to get it all set up, plus some stuff from me.


jack


mrainey

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Re: Windows editors - do they have to be so bad?
« Reply #24 on: February 01, 2009, 07:58:53 AM »
Quote
and what happens to a tabbed interface if you load 100 files?

I'm really glad I've never had to answer that question.   ;D
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