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A review on two OSX text editors

Well, being a text editing man myself (lots of shell scripts, perl progs, Snort.conf and rules files), I decided to test out a couple of 'markup' text editors for OSX. Now, what do I mean by 'markup'.

Basically, when I edit a file, the editor should mark it up with different colors and such to deliniate what I am trying to do, that way, if I forget to put a ";" in somewhere, the editor should turn all my text red (or whatever) in order to tell me "Hey, you screwed up".

I chose to test two: Vim and TextMate.

Vim -- I like Vim because, well, I am used to vi + vim on the redhat platform. Vi is very easy to learn, and vim is even easier and more powerful. You can perform powerful regular expressions to replace text anyway you want to, searching for text is a breeze, and editing is very simple as well (once you get used to the interface, there is a learning curve). Vim marks up shell scripts, html, perl, and even snort.conf and snort.rules files nicely. The Vim interface for OSX is a bit lacking (hey, what do you want, it's vim!!), but at least it makes it up through menu commands. (Yes you can still do the manual ":" editing.

TextMate -- Standard text editor, you can't do commands like ":" in it, it's Sans-serif fonts are a bit nicer on the eyes than the fixed-width fonts of Vim. It marks up shell, perl, and html scripts just fine. However it does lack the ability to color code Snort rules files. Which kinda sucks for me. It has a much better Gui++, but costs money--.

Verdict: Unless you are willing to pay the money for a product that doesn't mark up everything you want it to, stick with Vim. Besides, you should already be used to vim. (right?)


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