Programming Tools 4: Editors

I have already talked about using Eclipse for development, but it’s not the only editor I use because there are different things you need to do and so different tools. I’m not talking different IDEs here, like Visual Studio which I do use when making dot Net apps or writing VB apps for my cell phone. Nope, file editors.

You could use anything and a lot of times it’s what is on hand and what is available. For instance I still do a lot of Linux config editing with vi. Or drop into vi from less. Just remember <esc>:q!
For other work on Linux in command mode I use emacs which is ok but again there are a lot of things it can do but you have to remember a lot of commands and keys. Typically on Linux I end up using Eclipse for almost everything unless it’s really simple and then I use xedit.

Other times you get tempted to use something like notepad and then you regret it because it has absolutely no functionality, so instead use something like PFE (Personal File Editor) or Notepad++.  I also use an editor called HTML-Kit. All of these have plugins, customization, context highlighting, lots of search and replace options (multi-line search so that you can search for something at the end of a line, plus the linefeed, plus the beginning of the next line, then replace it with the end of a line, maybe another line or two and the beginning of the next line.)
I just noticed one interesting feature in HTML-Kit today, when you select text the status bar shows where your selection is and it shows the length of the selection as well. This can be handy at times when debugging logs or input files.

That reminds me, text editors can be used for so many things, everything from taking notes for phone calls, to programming, changing input files for testing, checking logs, making text images and editing email. Always have one at hand. And no editor does everything so finding a bunch that do the different things you need is good. I sometimes edit the same file in one editor, save, open in another to do regex search and replace then on to another. Editors are like screwdrivers, you need more than one so go out find a bunch play with them and put them in your toolbox.

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About echlinm

Computer Programmer/Systems Analyst/Hacker S31
This entry was posted in Computers and Internet, hackers, Programming. Bookmark the permalink.

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