OSX Text Editors
January 24, 2004 3:04 AM   Subscribe

What do people use for a cheap or free programmer's text editor on OS X? I know that BBEdit rules the school, but I'm loath to spend that much money when I'm (almost) happy with vim. I do web programming so I'm mostly working with PHP/Perl/Python/XHTML/CSS, but I'd like a program that could handle heavier work if I decided to move in that direction. Is there an OS X equivalent of Textpad, both in features and price?
posted by amery to Computers & Internet (17 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Try TextForge replaces about 75% of BBedit for me.
posted by jeremias at 3:39 AM on January 24, 2004

SubEthaEdit? You don't have to use its group-editing capability.
posted by danhon at 4:35 AM on January 24, 2004

I've heard good things about jedit.
posted by seanyboy at 5:18 AM on January 24, 2004

since you didn't mention it, i would guess you're not interested, but emacs installs on osx, no problem (can't remember the details, but i installed it fine - with no previous osx experience - on my partner's laptop after finding it via google).
posted by andrew cooke at 5:33 AM on January 24, 2004

Actually, I believe emacs comes already installed with OS X. At least, it was already installed on my powerbook when I bought it.

Emacs is really the best thing since sliced bread.
posted by bshort at 6:32 AM on January 24, 2004

I can't go for BBEdit at this point either, but BBEdit Lite is still available - scroll down to the bottom of the page. It's free and has all the functions one needs to start out with.

BBEdit (Lite) is my pick, easily.
posted by hijinx at 7:20 AM on January 24, 2004

second the shout out for jedit.
posted by dobbs at 7:51 AM on January 24, 2004

I'll throw out a vote for Alpha, although I'll also admit that I don't use it for much outside of editing LaTeX files. Still, the integration between Alpha & TeX is nice, if you're into that sort of thing.
posted by Johnny Assay at 8:03 AM on January 24, 2004

I second the SubEthaEdit recommendation. So far I haven't utilized its collaborative editing functionality, but I find a good sturdy editor. I'm not clear about what features you're after, as I'm unfamiliar with Textpad, but SubEthaEdit does let you view the syntax of each of PHP/Perl/Python/XHTML/CSS, and others.
posted by nthdegx at 8:52 AM on January 24, 2004

I've used vi for so long that I really can't do any long-term editing (anything other than email) in something that doesn't support vi-style commands and navigation.
posted by mrbill at 10:05 AM on January 24, 2004

I third the SubEthaEdit recommendation! I use it for all my editing needs.
posted by Steve_at_Linnwood at 1:00 PM on January 24, 2004

bshort - argh! perhaps you're right. maybe i installed x windows?! (or x windows and emacs for x?). sorry. please ignore my earlier comment.
posted by andrew cooke at 5:25 PM on January 24, 2004

Note that Pavel Cisler has ported Eddie, his programmer's editor for BeOS, to OS X. (Explanation: He's now at Apple.) It's definitely a beta product on X, but I get warm fuzzies every time I use it: Eddie is fast, straightforward, and powerful. (I use vim for most of my coding nowadays, but there are some Eddie features I miss so badly that I've created vim plugins to replicate them. [s/l])
posted by dsandl at 6:19 PM on January 24, 2004

What makes you only "almost" happy with vim? Perhaps there's a script or lesser known that would complete your vim experience...
posted by namespan at 11:52 PM on January 24, 2004

Just out of curiosity, why is TextEdit not a choice for you?
posted by JollyWanker at 8:22 AM on January 25, 2004

Response by poster: Thanks for the responses, everyone. I've now got a zoo of text editors installed that I'm evaluating. Eddie is especially impressive on first glance, as is SubEthaEdit.

To answer some questions:

1) I'm not entirely happy with vim because it doesn't have a concept of workspace (or, at least, not in the way that TextPad does. I like the options that TextPad offers ). "Not entirely happy" is somewhat disingenuous, since vim does 99% of what I want a text editor to do.

2) I don't use TextEdit because it doesn't have the features of a programmer's editor (no syntax highlighting, and the UI isn't optimized for what I need to do).
posted by amery at 10:02 AM on January 26, 2004

I'm not entirely happy with vim because it doesn't have a concept of workspace

Hmmmm. Can you explain "workspace?"
posted by namespan at 7:56 PM on January 26, 2004

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