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Discussion on: How I chose my Code Editor

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Dave Jacoby

As a CS Freshman in the mid 1990s, I used the department lab with Solaris x86 machines and it's default editor, emacs, once or twice, but the problem I'm hearing about vim these days -- how do you get out of it? -- hit me, and I mostly closed the window and logged off.

But the learning labs were campus-provided, running real Solaris machines and CDE and was taught vi. Later, working as a student, I began to learn all sorts of additions and customizations to make it work for me.

First job out of school was in a Windows-centric environment, and we used UltraEdit, which introduced me to column-editing. It was a very nice editor and I think it's still available.

But it wasn't Free or free. In my next (and current) job, a staff position at a university, I started switching between vim on Linux and ActiveState's Komodo Edit (free not Free) on Windows and Linux. I could mount remote file systems and edit from Linux, and open new files by typing komodo file.txt at a bash prompt.

But later, I tried and eventually bought Sublime Text 2, which was my main editor for some time.

atom drew me away, with similar style and customization. Right now, I am liking Visual Studio Code, but there are features I miss, like printing (yeah, but sometimes I like to print, read, and plan, rather than diving in without a plan and hacking around), and sorting lines. When I need sorting, or want to edit a file on a remote machine, I go back to vim.