boutell: (Default)
Hey geeky monkeys,

I need a new programmer's editor. Or a band-aid for vim. I can't decide which.

I love vim so this is kind of a bummer.

Reasons for this change:

1. I need to copy and paste with the mouse naturally without the need to manually switch in and out of autoindent mode, etc.

2. I need tabs that work intelligently: if there is already a tab open for a file, it gets reused. I don't want to use a command to look for an existing tab followed by yet another command to open the file if it is not open. That's dum. But it seems to be the best you can do with vim 7's buffers and tabs. I also need to be able to browse for that file without pain.

3. My coding style has always been designed around an 80-column limit, so I break lines a lot, using indentation to carry meaning even within a single complex statement. Old-school programmers are of course used to this. But my coworkers have served notice that modern computers have wide screens and I need to knock it off with the multiline statements already. I'm not convinced they're right in all situations, but the 80-character rule is starting to look pretty arbitrary. I could address this with a fullscreen vim window of course, but for that to work well, tabs have to work well. See #2.

Things I have tried:

1. Eclipse. I tried Eclipse with the PDI PHP context sensitive stuff. It was awesome for a few days and then it refused to open a particular file ever again until I nuked the Eclipse project (not the actual code of course). This does NOT give me warm fuzzies.

2. jEdit. Fired this up today. Icons that make Mapedit look like iTunes. And no native support for tabs!

Things I'm aware of:

TextMate. My coworkers swear by this. Fabien Potencier of the Symfony project swears by this. It's neither open source nor free, but it's $50-ish, which is reasonable. Starting to look really good.

Emacs. I was going to roll my eyes at this but it looks like there are serious native-GUI emacs versions worth trying, with PHP modes, and I will check them out. When there's a GUI I want it to follow GUI conventions, so I'll get pretty annoyed pretty fast if it reinvents too many wheels there.

Thoughts from the peanut gallery?

September 2014

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