Text Editors Suck

Date: 2018-03-05

Here's a list of editors I've used and why they're bad. This list includes every single widely-used text editor that's actively maintained, available on Windows, not based on "web technology" (Atom, VS Code, etc), and finally, not emacs.

Why are text editors, of all things, so incredibly bad? It makes no sense. Seriously.

  1. Notepad++ - Breaks horribly with large files. Clunky interface. Highlighter is broken.
  2. Geany - Breaks when using regex search/replace on large files.
  3. Kate - Buggy regex search/replace integration (e.g. replacing newlines). Does not support autodetection of indentation tabbing style at all.
  4. Sublime Text - Slow with large files, but doesn't break like geany and notepad++ do. Does not support actually disabling smart indentation (after opening a block or a condition) without disabling automatic indentation entirely.
  5. Vi/Vim - Modal. Does not use common/standard keystrokes (ctrl+c for copying, ctrl+arrows to navigate over words, etc). Bad mouse support.
  6. Akelpad - Not usable for extensive programming. Broken unicode support. Allows saving files with illegal filenames, corrupting their representation in the filesystem.
  7. Visual Studio - It's an IDE, not a text editor. I have not used it enough to unearth its other problems, aside from being very clunky.

Note: aside from Akelpad, I'm excluding "notepad clones" not meant for extensive programming.

On a side note, most text editors get artificial emboldening completely wrong, changing the gauge of each character, breaking monospace fonts. This prevents me from using bold in syntax highlighting in most editors.

Just writing this made my blood boil. How is it possible for text editors to be so bad? I need to go do something else.

This post was written in Kate.