Friday, November 23, 2007

Choosing a Mac OS X Editor

A very serious decision that every programmer has to make is to decide about her editor.
This is a decision that is hard to change afterwards, especially after getting used to working in a certain way. The most obvious choices in the Mac platform are the following:
  • TextMate: This is my favorite editor. I typeset my eBook using TextMate. A lot of Microsoft Windows users want a Windows version. I like the fact that I use it with my shell scripts, LATEX, Perl, PHP, C, C++, Objective-C, SQL, PL/SQL and text files that I write. . . It is not very expensive. Need I say more?
  • TextWrangler: This is the freeware version of BBEdit. Nevertheless, it is a very capable editor that you may use without problems.
  • BBEdit: This is the editor of choice for a lot of Mac users, especially before the release of TextMate. A very capable editor, indeed! It is relatively expensive for my taste. I would suggest that you try TextWranger first and then consider paying for BBEdit.
  • vi: This is the old time classic UNIX editor. Before using TextMate, vi was my editor of choice. I am still using it for administrative work. It is free, reliable, very capable and comes with Mac OS X.
  • Emacs: UNIX people usually fight about their editor of choice. The two opponents are vi and Emacs! I have never used it but I know that it is a powerful editor and you will not regret it if you choose to use it. It is free.
  • SubEthaEdit: SubEthaEdit is an editor with unique characteristics not found in the other editors. It supports collaborative text editing features, which means that two or more people can edit the same file at the same time! It is also a powerful editor and is not very expensive.
In order to understand the capabilities of an editor, I should tell you that I typeset my whole book in LaTeX using TextMate!

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