Text Editors Which Are NOT Meant For Development…

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There are some text editors which are meant purely for… Well, not development. Here are some examples of such editors. You’ll realize that they are meant and are created for other use cases…

Text Editors are simply just software that could edit a file and the text in it. I have mentioned a lot about both Text Editors and IDEs in my previous YouTube and Medium posts, but this is something that really needs more attention. Even after all of their experience in development, people still use the wrong editor for their work.

Don’t Develop Using…

Vim, Vi and All The Vim Incarnations

This is what I think and you can disagree with me on this. Vim is a completely minimal text editor by default and leaves you completely bare bones to configure everything by yourself. Now… For all the power users out there, this might seem like something very useful and better in many aspects since you are configuring what you want and this could give a free tool to you which you could play with.

Unfortunately, that is not how it works. Of course, this text editor would be awesome to configure and make your own. But it does not do the good job in helping you develop. Besides the fact that if you are developing something you need to configure this text editor extensively just to make it work as a normal text editor like others, you also have to add all the features which you already get in other text editors manually by yourself like IntelliSense, language support, etc. With that said, it also lacks support in extensions and community (when compared to editors like VSCode, Sublime, etc). You have to work considerably hard just to make it work like any other text editor.

But this does not mean that it is a bad text editor. It has a fairly well-thought-out workflow and keyboard shortcuts and could help you out with some basic tweaks in files here and there. It is also open source and lightweight so you can install it on most systems without breaking your head.

Mark Text

This is barely a Text Editor… Well… No doubt, it is technically a text editor. But it literally has no feature related to anything other than MarkDown. I mean… Most people who know about development would not develop in this(unless you want to torture yourself). This text editor is specifically meant for MarkDown Text and is made to be used for MarkDown.

For those of you who don’t know, markdown is like coding a document with pre-defined ways to have headers, titles, and so on… It helps you have a clean piece of the readme for main projects and descriptions about… Well… Anything you wish. This leads us to the text editor. It is just made for editing mark-down text, which you might imagine, is not meant for developing anything like web or app. You see where I am going with this.

Nano

I mean… Come On. Who would use nano for developing anything? It has no IntelliSense, no support, is very difficult to use, no features by default, and of course, no GUI interface at all. Of course, with no option to even enable these features, there is no way you could use this for developing anything.

Honestly, unlike Vim or Mark Text I can find no way you could use this for any use case even excluding development. Why?!… Who would use this? Maybe just curiosity and show off but that is all I can think of honestly.

Or maybe not… You see, this text editor is about 2–5MB in size maybe I could be used for lightweight processes but even then I could not think of a situation where you would want to abandon vim and rather use nano.

Emacs

Emacs on the other hand could be very useful and has a very clear use case. Development is certainly not one of them.

Emacs is probably THE text editor if you want to show off I guess. It has many forks of itself(since it’s open-source) and you can choose whatever fits you, the user. Some forks which you can have are

  • Spacemacs
  • Doom Emacs
  • Vanilla Emacs
  • Emacs-ng
  • more…

Any of these could be used for editing whatever you wish. So Why won’t people use it? Why is it not the most popular text editor in the world? Well, it’s because of support, and usability.

Emacs follows a complex keyboard shortcut system which you will have to learn to do any basic work. Don’t get me wrong. The keyboard shortcuts are very well thought out and improve your workflow once learned, but it also gives you enough problems to deal with, to just use something else. This, combined with the lack of support in extensions and settings, you might just prefer to go with the usual popular text editor.

Btw, the above text editors are just some examples. There are many many other text editors which used in a wrong way and are made for a different use case.

More You Need To Know About Text Editors and IDEs

I decided to keep this at the end so that the flow of reading is not broken. Well, something which a lot of people get confused with, so this video covers all of that and why the difference between them is shrinking. Although it’s not very much related to what I’m talking about in this article, I do talk about text editors in general and I think you won’t regret watching this :)

Conclusion

Ok… You get my point now. In the day and age where your competitors can finish their work in no time using VSCode or sublime(etc), you should probably not waste your time configuring and setting up text editors. I mean… Of course, it’s one thing when you are simply setting it up for joy and just having fun, but it’s other when you are in a serious software project.

If you are interested in more content like this, you are missing out on my YouTube channel “FadinGeek” and you’ll not regret it :) With that said, that is about it in this short post, just wanted to share this small thought out, I will meet you in the next one.

You’re Awesome


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Akash Manjunath

@fadingeek
Hey There! I'm a self thought developer... Nothing much to say about me, I develop games game assets web apps, and so on.
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