textadept: “Adept” is apt

I’m always on the lookout for good text editors, mostly because I think the fragile and uneasy triumvirate of vim, emacs and nano — which rules the Unix multiverse with a quavering fist and super-funky key controls — is ripe for being overturned. Ordinarily I would put forth jed as my candidate of choice, but textadept might be another possible usurper.

2014-10-01-6m47421-textadept-01 2014-10-01-6m47421-textadept-02 2014-10-01-6m47421-textadept-03

As I understand it, textadept is primarily intended to run under a graphical environment, but the version I installed out of AUR includes textadept-curses, which you see above. And I like what I see.

Boxed popup dialog windows. Controls that mimic the “CTRL+C for copy, CTRL+V for paste, CTRL+O for open, CTRL+S for save, CTRL+W for close, CTRL+Q for quit” keybindings that date back a decade or two. Customizable keybindings, if you hate those ones from two decades ago. Autopaired braces and brackets. Autocompletion. Code folding. Interactive search-and-replace. SHIFT+ARROW to mark text. Multiple document capability. Split-screen views. The list goes on.

The list, I should mention, doesn’t seem quite complete though. I have to admit that some of the gimmicks that were supposedly available in the ‘curses version didn’t seem to work for me, which is sad. I’m willing to overlook that, so long as I can chalk the omission up to my error or the way the AUR version is packaged.

As I understand it, textadept has made a pledge never to exceed 2000 lines of C, plus a few thousand more of Lua, but is extensible through a module system. I didn’t dig deep enough to see exactly how that worked, but I might take the time, because textadept is a nifty tool. I like how it behaves by default, which is more than I can say for any of the aforementioned triumvirate.

Whether you adopt textadept or not, the lesson to be learned here is that there are plenty of options available that are friendlier and easier to use than either vim or emacs (although nano isn’t terrible). My advice would be to seek one out, but I’m rather rotten at taking my own advice.😕

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  1. Pingback: bibcursed: Light and speedy reference management | Inconsolation

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