“ NEdit is a multi-purpose text editor for the X Window System, which combines a standard, easy to use, graphical user interface with the thorough functionality and stability required by users who edit text eight hours a day. It provides intensive support for development in a wide variety of languages, text processors, and other tools, but at the same time can be used productively by just about anyone who needs to edit text. „
Programming in languages like Perl on Linux everyday means that the choice of text editor is very important to me. I use vi a fair amount, especially for quick alterations to code, but it's not exactly intuitive or user friendly. So as soon as I'm working on a bigger project I switch to Nedit a friendly GUI editor that runs under X windows and has some nice features for those of us who code. For anyone familiar with Textpad on Windows machines nedit will probably seem familiar, it offers a similar level of features, though their layout is different. For me the most important feature of Nedit is the range of options I can use to control the appearance of the editor. Syntax highlight is a great help, it's so much easier to deal with Perl when you can scan the syntax. Other languages are in their too, though I'd like to see PHP introduced soon. It also does HTML syntax highlighting making it handy for putting together web pages quickly. All the standard text editor tools are provided, of particular note is its search and replace facilities which are surprisingly powerful. Regular expression support is provided giving a very effective way of scanning through text. The only problem I ever have with it is it doesn't quite provide the full set of features that Perl's regular expressions do, but that's just being picky. The ability to fire off the text into external processes, for example a spell checker is useful (less so for programming, but when writing a review here it can be useful). The program is available freely on the web at www.nedit.org so it's hard to complain about somthing that's free. I installed it using the RPMs onto a Redhat box and for the most part have had no trouble with it. I do suffer from an occasional bug when a lot of windows are opened, killing one of the older windows can leave others hanging, but I've learnt to be careful around this one. All in all a well built and useful pro
gramming tool, I've not foudn a Linux GUI text editor I prefer to this one.
The choice of a text editor is an issue which has caused many a flame war on Usenet. As a good text editor is essential for anyone who does any significant amount of software development (or anything else involving pure ASCII text files), people get very attached to the likes of 'vi' or 'emacs' when they find that it suits their way of working. So, without wanting to provoke yet another war, I'd like to suggest that anyone who hasn't already seen it look at Nedit (freely available from www.nedit.org as both source code and binaries for a wide range of different platforms). It has plenty of modern features (syntax colouring, for example - the keywords of the language you are using stand out visually from the variable names). If you are migrating to Unix from Windows, you will probably find Nedit more comfortable than either of the 'big two' mentioned above. I've learned enough keystrokes to use either 'vi' and 'emacs' to do basic operations, but for the day-to-day editing tasks, Nedit is my personal choice. A solid, flexible GUI text editor which just lets you get things done. It's got a macro language, rectangular cut and paste, ... (continued at www.nedit.org).