Editor Wars

code, editor

I hadn’t thought it would happen, but I grew tired of Sublime’s nag screen a few months ago. Coupled with the fact that it being closed source never sat very well with me, I decided to change my ways. I must state that Sublime is otherwise a very good editor, its functionality is certainly not why I said my goodbyes.

Emacs, with its Org-mode, has always been a lure, and a supposed simpler distro called Spacemacs seemed interesting. They both require me to retrain shortcuts, and this just will not fly. I get that Emacs will offer me lots in return, but my brain is small and I really like to keep things consistent across other GUI-apps, because I already make too many mistakes when switching contexts. Emacs’ Cuamode did not enable all the hotkeys that I am used to (CTRL-C,V,Z, Shift to invert actions), so I made up my mind that in this life Emacs and I will not work out.

Recently I have become a convert of KDE. Version 5(.2) is the first edition that actually does not look like shit. I find it works very well, with many convenient options, but solid defaults, even as a virtual machine. KDE offers the famous Kate editor, and I must say, it is a joy. Very customizable, common hotkeys, almost everything I need. I continue to have some trouble with it saving its preferences and state properly. In the beginning I discovered that by using sudo kate I had created some root-owned preference files in ~/.kde, and after fixing that, it worked well. However, from time to time, it again loses its state, and it never reopens open files anyway, a feature I appreciate much. In addition, I’ve installed KDE for Windows in order to get Kate there as well, but this is an outdated version, and in general KDE for Windows seems not very well updated.

So, I added first class cross-platform support to my list of requirements. I will keep my eye open for Kate and in particular KDEvelop, as they seem to move to QT5 soon and promise a Windows release, but until then, I’ve found Komodo Edit. Like Kate, also a tool in use by others in my lab, it is also very customizable, and has a convenient way of browsing files based on which files you have open. A lean interface like Sublime, and I find it to work pretty well. The text rendering is a bit glitchy at times (it flickers) and the fonts render different from elsewhere (due to its Scite component?), so its not perfect. A nice extra is built-in Markdown rendering, which is useful since I use Markdown for all my documentation and todo-lists. Ah, and all source is on Github.

I guess I am bikeshedding here, but give Komodo Edit a try.