Notepad Replacement: Vim

Coding Horror lists prices for TextPad replacements:

UltraEdit - $40

EditPlus - $30

EditPad Pro - $40

TextPad - $32

EmEditor - $40

NoteTab Pro - $20

My obligatory reaction:

  • Vim – priceless

Portable, Powerful, Programmable.

Smart IDEs are great, but there’s always a need to edit plain text files, e.g. config files on a server, and documents too. And even with IDEs, you have to use the editor to get text from your keyboard somehow. If you’re sticking with the default Eclipse/IntelliJ/JBuilder key mappings, you have to change mind-modes everytime you switch to a new IDE. And they’re pretty slow anyway. Better to use a plugin like IntelliJ-Vim to keep using the same style for adding and editing text, while retaining all the benefits of the IDE.

If you’re planning on spending several decades editing text files – writing, coding, configuring – I’d recommend taking a couple of hours to learn a decent, standard, input tool. Namely, one of vim or emacs. Here is a straightforward vim tutorial.

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