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Last post Author Topic: The Best Of: text editors  (Read 72461 times)

hippoedit

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Re: The Best Of: text editors
« Reply #50 on: April 28, 2009, 05:47:17 PM »
Hi tranglos,

thanks for comparison and thread ;) It gives some ideas what people need more.

Some comments about the Hippoedit review:
  • Name - too late to change ;) I had some reasons for such selection. There is already a forum thread (Hippoedit forum) about this :)
  • The hierarchy bar, indentation guides, nesting indicators etc. - really, does not work for xml. Reason is HippoEDIT nature :) All syntax highlighting, outlining, autocomletion etc based on generic syntax schemes. Nothing is hardcoded for special language (as in all Scintilla based editors or editors where you have something like C++ or HTML style in definitions). And till now I have not invent way to describe rules for outlining XML (it does not have predefined start/end tags). So there s not outlining for XML, and Hierarchy Bar and nesting levels working based on outlining results (better to say not working in case of XML). But this is on to-do and would come. Then Hierarchy Bar etc would work automatically.
  • Many toggles in the menu (e.g. options to show/hide a particular element of the interface) are not shown checked or unchecked according to whether an option is enabled. - please write on HippoEDIT forum or to support was exactly is missing. I would fix this. I think indication for bars was already added (last betas).
  • No support for macros or scripting at all. - this would be added in next major version - 1.50

Also HE can have several shortcuts for same command and can show unclosed tags or braces in code and on Overview Bar ;).

Just registered to write a response ;)
If you see some problems in HippoEDIT ask on forum or write me personally. Would try as fast as I can ;)

And at the end:
As reviewer you can get a free hippoedit license (details here), if you do not have one already ;) Write me if you need it and do not have yet.

Best regards,
Alex.

rjbull

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Re: The Best Of: text editors
« Reply #51 on: April 29, 2009, 04:11:05 AM »
For the non-programmers someone should probably start a thread on good, word processors.

Not for me, thanks.  I don't care what text look like.  Those who do use a DTP program like Microsoft Word.  I need to get plain text down on disk, and edit it, as quickly and easily as possible, with an absolute requirement for plain text so I can search and retrieve information readily with cheap and convenient tools.  There are such things as text databases, e.g. DB/Text Works for Windows, but the company wouldn't buy it.  So plain text is the way to go.  Staying with plain text also allows me to send current awareness bulletins as simple e-mails.  Most of the company insist on either HTML e-mail, or fancy formatting in Word, converting that to PDF and attaching it to a "please read" e-mail, expecting people to fire up the lumbering Acrobat Reader to read five lines of often irrelevant material.

MilesAhead

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Re: The Best Of: text editors
« Reply #52 on: April 29, 2009, 04:18:19 PM »
Is it not possible to keep the text plain and still use macros, pattern substitutions and paragraph manipulations etc?  I don't know. The only serious use I made of a word processor was on my first PC.  It came with Dos 3.1 and some Dos console based word processor program.  I can't even remember the name of it.

TucknDar

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Re: The Best Of: text editors
« Reply #53 on: April 30, 2009, 12:49:37 AM »
Just registered to write a response ;)
If you see some problems in HippoEDIT ask on forum or write me personally. Would try as fast as I can ;)

And at the end:
As reviewer you can get a free hippoedit license (details here), if you do not have one already ;) Write me if you need it and do not have yet.

Best regards,
Alex.
Hi, Alex! Welcome to the forums! It's always good to see more developers using the DC forums!  :Thmbsup:

mouser

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Re: The Best Of: text editors
« Reply #54 on: April 30, 2009, 12:56:56 AM »
Welcome Alex, ditto to what TucknDar said  :up:

rjbull

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Re: The Best Of: text editors
« Reply #55 on: April 30, 2009, 03:55:06 AM »
Is it not possible to keep the text plain and still use macros, pattern substitutions and paragraph manipulations etc?

Maybe.  I've been spoilt because the first DOS programs I used were PC-Write, and later VDE, both of which are dual-purpose and both of which do work like that.  Then Windows became popular, and that was the real beginning of a  divide between editors and word processors.  I've been focussed on editors because I use plain text almost all the time, and that's what editors do.  I'd hate to try using Word for plain text, short notes, batch files, AWK scripts, anything like that.  Microsoft Word?  Bah!  Ptui!

superboyac

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Re: The Best Of: text editors
« Reply #56 on: April 30, 2009, 03:57:18 AM »
I just tried Hippo.  It's fast, i like that.  I do very minimal programming, just if I need to edit css files or php code a little.  So, I don't have hardcore needs.  Sometimes, I'll need to do some fancy search and replacing.  So I guess speed is important to me.

Is it me, or is Ultraedit getting slower to load?  I just installed it on my brand new smokin computer and it takes a good 2-3 seconds to completely load.  Hippo opens immediately.

superboyac

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Re: The Best Of: text editors
« Reply #57 on: April 30, 2009, 04:23:30 AM »
OK, I just tried EmEditor...it is REALLY fast.  The fastest one I've tried as far as loading.  I like it a lot.

tranglos

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Re: The Best Of: text editors
« Reply #58 on: April 30, 2009, 08:20:49 AM »
thanks for comparison and thread ;) It gives some ideas what people need more.

Hi Alex, thanks so much for joining and replying.

I really like HippoEdit so far, which is probably apparent in my report :) I do hope you can enable the visual guidance features for XML, too, since this is a very common file format. (Note that some of the related options are still enabled for XML under Tools -> Syntax settings, even though they are not currently supported).

A word about scripting, if I may. First, I think there is no real difference between scripting and macros. Conceptually, a macro is something you record, while a script is what you type in code. But the end result should ideally be the same: a listing of commands or executable statements that you can edit.

The ability to edit a recorded macro is very important to me. The more complex the macro, the more likely it is I'll make a mistake while recording. Having to begin everything from scratch or not being able to improve the macro later is a real bummer (see TextPad). I doin't particularly care what syntax you pick for the scripts; my only suggestion would be to use an existing language rather than invent something completely new. EmEditor does well with JavaScript and VBScript, since both languages are very communicative (easy to read), both are widely known and both are fairly easy to pick up the basics of.

It's great to know I can assign multiple shortcuts to a single action - thanks for that. In fact, the keyboard customization dialog box is very well organized, IMO. Thanks for making it resizable, it's much easier that way.

I don't have a lot of new suggestions right now, except maybe to steal a few useful little features from other editors. When editing any tagged format, I like the single-key commands to select (a) the whole tag; (b) the whole contents between a matching pair of tags; (c) a matching pair of tags including the content in between. That's very useful when restructuring a document.

For html and xml editing, the ability to automatically insert a closing tag would help a lot; an even better refinement is "synchronized editing" of tags (when I edit the opejning element name, the program applies the changes to the closing element - please see my description of that feature under the section for Oxygen XML Editor). I would say this is more important for xml than for html, because the tags in xml are "undefined", and because they are case-sensitive. So any automation in this respect helps avoid structural errors in xml.

I see HE uses the 0-9 bookmark scheme, but do you think it would be possible in the future to have either unlimited bookmarks, or a different implementation that would allow users to perform editing operations on bookmarks lines (or on all lines containing a search term)? Again, there's a more detailed description of that feature in my original post (under TextPad). TextPad's solution is pretty unique so far, but it could be improved further by allowing more types of operations on the marked lines, e.g. replace text a with text b only in those lines. What do you think?

(Thanks also for your kind offer. I do already own a license.)

MilesAhead

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Re: The Best Of: text editors
« Reply #59 on: April 30, 2009, 10:38:46 AM »
Is it not possible to keep the text plain and still use macros, pattern substitutions and paragraph manipulations etc?

Maybe.  I've been spoilt because the first DOS programs I used were PC-Write, and later VDE, both of which are dual-purpose and both of which do work like that.  Then Windows became popular, and that was the real beginning of a  divide between editors and word processors.  I've been focussed on editors because I use plain text almost all the time, and that's what editors do.  I'd hate to try using Word for plain text, short notes, batch files, AWK scripts, anything like that.  Microsoft Word?  Bah!  Ptui!

I guess the only thing worse than a proprietary format is one that keeps changing with every version.  I don't do much with text appearance 'cept when I did my web page.  Even there I learned just enough css and used a nav button maker so that I could do the page without using a word processor.  That "front page of the newspaper" look is kind of old.  It may be useful if you need to cram lots of stuff on your page but I'd hate to look at the page source when made with one of those front end apps.  Like twenty br tags and fifty ampersands in a row.. that kind of crap.
« Last Edit: April 30, 2009, 10:40:31 AM by MilesAhead »

rjbull

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Re: The Best Of: text editors
« Reply #60 on: April 30, 2009, 10:39:17 AM »
OK, I just tried EmEditor...it is REALLY fast.  The fastest one I've tried as far as loading.  I like it a lot.

Be careful of the license.  If you install EmEditor on a corporate computer, you have no right to also install it at home without paying for a second license.  If you only use it at home, you can (IIRC) install it on up to 5 computers of your own.  You can install it as portable to get over the corporate limitation, but for some reason it doesn't run reliably from my USB stick.

HippoEdit is more like a personal license, in that you can use it both at work and at home on only one payment.  Good karma to HippoEdit  :)

superboyac

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Re: The Best Of: text editors
« Reply #61 on: April 30, 2009, 11:07:10 AM »
You can install it as portable to get over the corporate limitation, but for some reason it doesn't run reliably from my USB stick.
What do you mean by not running reliably?  Does it crash?  Is it significantly slower?

hippoedit

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Re: The Best Of: text editors
« Reply #62 on: April 30, 2009, 03:36:13 PM »
Hello tranglos,

thanks for suggestion ;) I understand this is DC forum, but please leave them also on Hippoedit forum, then request would be easier to track ;)

Quote
I do hope you can enable the visual guidance features for XML, too, since this is a very common file format. (Note that some of the related options are still enabled for XML under Tools -> Syntax settings, even though they are not currently supported).
Yes I realize that, just did not have time to work on XML outlining yet. The settings are available because: indent guides are available in XML ;), outlining can still work because collapsing of comments works (also outlining feature that does not need tag pairs). I am trying to disable features which are not supported in syntax definition, so probably they are supported partially, if enabled.

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A word about scripting, if I may.
Yes :) I am planning to use MS Active Scripting (same that EmEditor use). There is already discussion about what should be inside on HippoEDIT forum. You can add you comments there, but most already there.

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I don't have a lot of new suggestions right now, except maybe to steal a few useful little features from other editors. When editing any tagged format, I like the single-key commands to select (a) the whole tag; (b) the whole contents between a matching pair of tags; (c) a matching pair of tags including the content in between. That's very useful when restructuring a document.
Hm.. On of the rules in Hippoedit development I am trying to keep: no specialization of the engine for any specific language. If something is needed - it should be done in generic way and available for all languages (syntaxes). If something is not possible in generic way - it should be done as plug-in or script. Otherwise you get such monster program as UltraEdit :)
a), b), c) can be fullfiled partially using ExpandSelection command (Alt+Down)

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For HTML and XML editing, the ability to automatically insert a closing tag would help a lot;

See comments about specialization before, but also something possible :) You can use code templates (at least for HTML). Do not know about special sync edit for XML tags, but generic synchronized editing in plans. Sync edit for column mode already exist. So, maybe, I would think about special XML edit plug-in in the future.

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I see HE uses the 0-9 bookmark scheme, but do you think it would be possible in the future to have either unlimited bookmarks
they are already supported - see More bookmarks section in menu.
Quote
, or a different implementation that would allow users to perform editing operations on bookmarks lines (or on all lines containing a search term)?

Already added in latest betas (check forum): you can search/replace in bookmarked lines, copy/copy append/cut them, delete or invert ;)

Best regards,
Alex.

rjbull

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Re: The Best Of: text editors
« Reply #63 on: May 01, 2009, 04:01:11 AM »
You can install it as portable to get over the corporate limitation, but for some reason it doesn't run reliably from my USB stick.
What do you mean by not running reliably?  Does it crash?  Is it significantly slower?

EmEditor crashed a couple of times, not during basic editing, but first time when doing something with macros, second time when fiddling with configuration.  Speed: it's - naturally - a bit slower to load the first time from USB.  I didn't notice it being slow otherwise, but I don't deal in big files.

urlwolf

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Re: The Best Of: text editors
« Reply #64 on: May 02, 2009, 01:25:42 PM »
I just tried hippo and I think it could very well be my choice. It copies emEditor in many ways, and adds some improvements. emEditor will be the best for large files and unicode, though.

Where both are kind of lost is when doing ctags stuff (more IDE-like).

The thing with hippo is that it seems to implement new features a lot faster than emEditor (which is very very slow). It could take the crown easily, I'd say.

superboyac

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Re: The Best Of: text editors
« Reply #65 on: May 02, 2009, 01:54:31 PM »
I just tried hippo and I think it could very well be my choice. It copies emEditor in many ways, and adds some improvements. emEditor will be the best for large files and unicode, though.

Where both are kind of lost is when doing ctags stuff (more IDE-like).

The thing with hippo is that it seems to implement new features a lot faster than emEditor (which is very very slow). It could take the crown easily, I'd say.
I agree.  To me, it's just as fast as EmEditor, and I like that the author is active here and on his own forum.  It also has some cool visual features.  I wish I knew about it during the BDJ sale!

As I said before, I look at editors almost entirely from a plain text viewpoint.  I do about 1% programming.  So my primary concern is speed, and Hippo is tops at that.  The other things I like, even with just text files, are line numbering features, indentation features.  I also like it if the program has useful dialogs for placing around the main window like all editors have the file browser, but some have clipboard managers, search panes, etc.  I like those things if they apply to plain text.

So I'm probably in the minority here in that my needs are almost purely plain text, but like all my preferred software, I appreciate speed, a well-designed interface, and useful features.  Hippo seems to be all of that.  So good work, <author> (I don't know your name).

EmEditor is still good, but it's exciting to know that new features are always coming in hippo.  So between the two, i would pick hippo for now.

There's my plain-text user mini-mini-shootout!  Sometimes I feel like the only non-programmer who likes notepad alternatives.  I use Notepad++ at work.  Everyone asks me why I don't just use Word.  duh!

tranglos

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Re: The Best Of: text editors
« Reply #66 on: May 02, 2009, 02:37:58 PM »
EmEditor is still good, but it's exciting to know that new features are always coming in hippo.  So between the two, i would pick hippo for now.

At the moment, Hippo is certainly the most exciting of the editors in my list.

As for EmEditor though, it has been absolutely solid in my two years of usage. All free upgrades since when I bought it at version 6 (it's now at 8). I'd say the high points of EmEditor are the unparalelled configurabilty and flawless handling of all encodings you care to throw at it. An important benefit I don't think I mentioned in my OP is that EmEditor detects correctly UTF-8 files without the byte order mark. I'm sure it's not the only editor with that capabilty any more, but it was one of the first, and Unicode cleanless was obviously one of the author's goals. The localization engineers I worked with would use nothing else.

What's turning me off of EmEditor is that the author seems to be pretty much satisfied with his work, and improvements are indeed slow in coming. It's my default editor at the moment, while I'm playing with Hippo's goodies.


superboyac

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Re: The Best Of: text editors
« Reply #67 on: May 02, 2009, 03:04:34 PM »
What's turning me off of EmEditor is that the author seems to be pretty much satisfied with his work, and improvements are indeed slow in coming. It's my default editor at the moment, while I'm playing with Hippo's goodies.
I think I'm probably in the same situation.

mwb1100

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Re: The Best Of: text editors
« Reply #68 on: May 02, 2009, 04:00:31 PM »
Where both are kind of lost is when doing ctags stuff (more IDE-like).

I've emailed the HippoEDIT author about this and he says it's on the todo list, but as it's a pretty big change/addition there are no promises or timeline.

urlwolf

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Re: The Best Of: text editors
« Reply #69 on: May 02, 2009, 06:37:18 PM »
Well, I have to correct my statement that emeditor moves slowly.
In fact, 9 beta implements a bunch of new things, including the infamous snippets from textmate. See:
http://www.emeditor....id=1110&forum=12
(go to the newest post to get latest beta).
Seems plenty healthy pace of adding features to me,...

tranglos

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Re: The Best Of: text editors
« Reply #70 on: May 02, 2009, 07:12:26 PM »
the infamous snippets from textmate

What are they?

(The 'e' editor also supports Textmate snippets - they call them bundles - but from the descriptions I could never figure out how they are different from macros or scripts.)

mwang

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Re: The Best Of: text editors
« Reply #71 on: May 02, 2009, 08:02:53 PM »
- No search and replace in all open documents. Why?

Great reviews. Thanks. Just a small correction, EmEditor does search and replace in open files.
emeditor.PNG

- Relatively weak incremental search (via plugin only, you type in an edit box, Enter focuses the document). My main issue is you need to click the edit control on the toolbar; i.e. cannot initialize incremental search from the keyboard.

You can assign a shortcut for it, can't you?
« Last Edit: May 02, 2009, 08:08:23 PM by mwang »

urlwolf

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Re: The Best Of: text editors
« Reply #72 on: May 03, 2009, 02:55:20 AM »
@tranglos: incremental search works emEditor 9 alpha.

tranglos

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Re: The Best Of: text editors
« Reply #73 on: May 03, 2009, 02:16:57 PM »
Just a small correction, EmEditor does search and replace in open files.  (see attachment in previous post)

Thanks! That feature was absent for a long time and I never noticed it finally arrived - how perceptive of me :)  I'll update the review.

Quote from: tranglos
- Relatively weak incremental search (via plugin only, you type in an edit box, Enter focuses the document). My main issue is you need to click the edit control on the toolbar; i.e. cannot initialize incremental search from the keyboard.
You can assign a shortcut for it, can't you?

I'm not sure if you can assign shortcuts to plugin functions - will have to check that.

Jussi Jumppanen

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Re: The Best Of: text editors
« Reply #74 on: May 03, 2009, 10:17:03 PM »
I can't find one editor that does everything that I need.
OK, as the author of the Zeus for Windows editor/IDE, I'll bite ;)

Your Good Points

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Under constant development
As is Zeus.

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support requests are answered promptly
Any forum question is generally answered in 24-48 hours.

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somewhat extensible through scripting - I don't think Activex objects are creatable though
large file handling
It is extensible through scripting.

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one of my first tests when evaluating a text editor is it's ability to handle a multi-line regular expression search and replace.
Emeditor handles this without problem or the need to learn an obscure flavour of regex.
Zeus uses the \n character to represent the line feed and it uses the perl/unix flavour of regex.

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macro recording, editing, storing, etc is the cleanest and most usable that I've seen
Recording a macro: F7 do your stuff F7
Playback the recorded macro: F8
Load a saved macro: F9
Playback the recorded macro: F8

All Zeus macros scripts are just texts files so they are very easy to edit.

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highly extensible via macros and plugins.
Zeus is scriptable but does not have any plugin expansion option.

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block selection mode just works.
Yes it does ;)

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enable it temporarily when selecting via mouse, allows pasting from clipboard into selected block, zero width blocks, etc, etc.
It has column, line, block and ragged mouse marking modes and they are mouse and/or keyboard driven.

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multiple concurrent selections - when enabled, many non-contiguous text sections can be selected, copied, pasted, etc. I haven't seen this in any other text editor.
Zeus does not do this :(

Your Bad Points

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recording and saving macros is very un-intuitive.
Zeus scripts are wrtten in the scripting language chosen by the user (i.e Lua, Python, VbScript, Java Script, Tcl etc).

They are just text file and contain scripting code in the language of choice.

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multiple regular expression engines supported - this should be a positive, but I find it a bit confusing when I have to switch between them occasionally.
Zeus uses a perl/unix regular expression engine.

Some have said this is a poor choice for a regexp engine but personally I find it very useful, since any vim, emacs, awk, sed, perl, python regexp will more often than not also work in Zeus ;)

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finding stuff in the default menu structure and options screens is difficult.
Documentation is always an issue :(

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no built in support for file comparison and the plug-in is clunky and basic.
It has built-in file difference and also has an option for external file difference.

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other functionality provided by plugins are not as polished as the built-in versions in other editors. e.g. sorting, extracting lines containing a search string, etc.
Zeus has built-in sorting and can also extracting lines containing a search string. It does this by wrapping a gui dialog around the fgrep tool.

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same scripting documentation issues as Ultraedit
Documentation can always be better but the forum does help ;)

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takes a bit of time to set it up as, out of the box, it is fairly spartan.
It can also takes time to setup.

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Being java-based, it doesn't handle large files well.
Zeus will load a 10 meg file in about 4 seconds.

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For some reason, the font rendering on some low-end LCDs is pretty rough. I'm not sure if this is the fault of the JRE, Jedit or how I have configured stuff.
Zeus is a windows application so the fonts are handled by windows.

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No print preview.
It also has no print preview :(

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Plugins are especially useful for integrating with other tools, e.g. clearcase, scripting engines, command interpreters, etc, etc.
It can integrate with Clearcase, Visual Studio, Perforce, Subversion, CVS etc version controls and can run almost any command line.