Sunday, January 3, 2010

Simple Code Editors

This question on Slashdot asks about VIM text editing capabilities in more modern integrated development environments. The answers to the question seems to indicate that a number of options are available for those that want to bring development capabilities to newer code editors.

So, is it that we want to bring enhanced text editing capabilities, that have worked for years with VIM, into an IDE? Or should this text-editing capability be brought to the more modest code editors, not necessarily IDEs.

In most cases, integrated development environments get in the way more than they lend a hand in producing quality code. In other, niche, cases, they can be the perfect tool for the job.

So what is wrong with VIM exactly? Nothing. That is, there is nothing wrong with VIM for using it as a simple code editor. It just so happens that simple code editors are in huge demand these days and so VIM is still the editor of choice for many developers for its advanced text editing capabilities.

I find the main beneficial feature that newer code editors bring to the table are hierarchical class navigators. It isn't a matter of being able to navigate by class; VIM can do that. It is more a matter of being able to visualize the classes in the given more you are editing.