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Just looking for users opinions on what is out there. especialy some of the free or shareware versions that are kicking about.
No need for URL's just products and how you rate them. Good points, bad points and why you use it.
For me phpedit...
Assemples the page and notices errors for you. Good points, easy to use. Bad ponts, on screen prompts to save pages ect appear in french. not a big issue just an inconvenience.
One of my first experiences of vi, years ago, left permanent scars. I got into it by accident (The default editor is *what*?), while su'ed to root on my high school's server. I promptly did several things I knew I didn't want to save, couldn't figure out how to exit, so I telneted in from another machine and killed the vi process. Vi then e-mailed me about how it had saved my mess for me and would be happy to recover it every day for a month or so until I finally got my hands on a reference for the darned editor and figured out how to make it stop. Ever since then, it's been at the bottom of my list of editors to try.
Most of the high frequency key combos from (x)Emacs turn out to work in Moz/Gecko for Linux, as well as a whole slew of other *nix programs. Heck, they work in Bash command-line editing. What more reason could you need to learn Emacs?
Instead of just touting the best editor (which is, incidentally, vi), let's bring this up a notch.
Things to consider: GUI or Command line and Novice or Expert?
Under a GUI: if Windows, I recommend UltraEdit32 (not free) or TextPad. My friends pimp Visual Slickedit at me. If Mac, BBEdit or Alpha. In Unix: there's no "defacto" GUI editors in UNIX guis that I know of...
CLI: I pimp vi because I feel it's a text editor, just like it's supposed to be: Lightweight and flexible. There is GNU Nano, mx and Emacs, too (but mx is way too hard on the hands, IMO).
Now, for the bigger question, Novice or Expert. Textpad is great for Novices, Ultraedit and Visual Slickedit have too many configuration options and are too confusing if you haven't used them for years. Same with Alpha, though I find BBEdit is very close good at appealing to novice users and experienced users alike. Under a command line, 'pico' is king if you don't want to have to memorize a book of commands.
For experts: The holy war between i and emacs has existed since 1984, and before that it was vi vs. teco (of which emacs is decended). The service two very different camps: the old school of many small programs working in concert (vi) and fluid integration (emacs). vi is veru much a programmer's editor and is focused to the point of being obtuse at times. Emacs has the kitchen sink vibe, which is a reason many people don't use it.
When looking for an editor: If I was looking for en editor, these are the points to consider:
* What platforms will I be using it on? Do I want it to run on multiple platforms?
* Menus or Keystrokes? Decide if you have a preference for either and choose editors accordingly because I have yet to see one where Mouse CLicks and Keystrokes are represented evenly.
* Speed or Features? Again with vi vs. emacs: Do you want a small, fast tense editor that is focused on one purpose, or so you want a larger tool that can handle other functions for you by itself?
* Cost? Duh, this is obvious. UltraEdit is like 80 bucks, BBEdit is the same, IIRC. But they're well crafted tools, so you have to decide if it's worth it to you to pay for it.
Didn't mean to start a holy war - my anecdote was mostly for fun. Laugh at the high school student who was scared to death by what is actually a nice auto-recover feature :)
I assume that if you really know vi, it's modality becomes a feature rather than a bug? If someone is trying to decide between the two, it might help them to know a bit about it. I can't really help, since I don't use it.
I'm also a little suprised by your characterization of vi and emacs as command-line only editors. Most of the time when I start either flavor of Emacs I get a new window with scrollbars, a menu bar, and a tool bar from which most things can be accomplished, and I just started Elvis to confirm that it had at least a tool bar and scroll bar. I've also pointed and clicked at various things that use terminal interfaces, so the distinction doesn't seem to be very strong. (Unless you want to get into proportional fonts, but who needs proportional fonts for text-editing?)
Okay, you're right, I was unfaily characterizing Emacs and vi as text based editors; by that I mean that they were originally keyboard only, no mouse, few menus. I know there is emacs for X (which I have never used) and many varieties gvim (which I think suck , personally :)). I don't use them in gui mode or menu mode because of that thing I said before about gui versus text -- if it was designed to be a keybard interface in the begining, that's that way it should stay becase I have yet to find one that can play in both worlds well.
Of course, I still play "adventure" on an Apple ][, so grains of salt apply :)
I know you weren't trying to start a holy war, but when you ask coders which editor is the "best" it almost inevetiably degrades to that. I just wanted to put something down more meaningful than "vi rules and emacs sucks!"
I have used a variety of tools over time, textpad being a great favourite at one point, but now use Microsoft InterDev for ASP/HTML (I always write in pure code, no WYSIWYG)
Having started in the work of Unix/Perl/C I have started using Emacs, which I hate and PFE which is a good little app, but it doesn't support Syntax Highlighting which is really annoying and confusing