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Which text editor

by wolis (Scribe)
on Mar 16, 2004 at 04:07 UTC ( #336922=perlquestion: print w/replies, xml ) Need Help??

wolis has asked for the wisdom of the Perl Monks concerning the following question:

Hi Monks,
I was curious to find out what text editors others use when working on Perl code.

Being in the Win environment, I have found TextPad to be rather good as it context highlights and understands Perl syntax, can run external tools like perl.exe and captures the output, and can do neat tricks like FindTag to locate the sub in any document related to the current project (folder and sub-folders).

Has anyone found any other good editors?

What do you use?

___ /\__\ "What is the world coming to?" \/__/

Replies are listed 'Best First'.
Re: Which text editor
by coec (Chaplain) on Mar 16, 2004 at 05:22 UTC
    On Linux, I use vim
    On AIX, I use vi (only 'cos vim isn't installed at this site)
    On Windows, I use either Halo: Combat Evolved or Unreal Tournament :)


Re: Which text editor
by tachyon (Chancellor) on Mar 16, 2004 at 04:15 UTC

    PerlBulder (commercial) or Vim depending on my mood. But anything you are comfortable with and productive within is good. Syntax highlighting is probably the main feature I would not like to live without. I find I tend to use less and less 'features' as time passes.



Re: Which text editor
by AcidHawk (Vicar) on Mar 16, 2004 at 04:12 UTC
    I do everything in UltraEdit. It has syntax highlighing as well as allowing you to create your own custom tools for the toolbar something like "perl.exe -c %F" when you click on a button.

    Check here for a complete list of features.

    Of all the things I've lost in my life, its my mind I miss the most.
      It also has a built in FTP client that allows you to work with files on a remote system. For those situations where vi isn't enough.
        Vim can load/save files on remote systems. :help netrw

        Makeshifts last the longest.

Re: Which text editor
by biosysadmin (Deacon) on Mar 16, 2004 at 08:50 UTC

    No matter what operating system I'm on, I'm a big fan of vim. For some reason a lot of my Perl people seem to like vi and it's variants. In addition to myself and a few friends, here's a quote from a Damian Conway interview that I read a while back:

    "I often find myself developing right in my editor. In fact, I have a key permanently bound to ":!perl -w %" under vi for just that reason."

    After reading the interview, I used his idea and mapped Ctrl-P to ":!perl -w %" in my .vimrc file. I also saved the quote. :D

      $ tail -1 ~/.vilerc source /home/abigail/.vile.mappings $ cat ~/.vile.mappings 1 store-macro goto-beginning-of-file append-string "#!/usr/bin/perl\n\n" append-string "use strict;\n"; append-string "use warnings;\n"; set-mode "perlmode" position-window b open-line-below-and-append-chars ~endm 2 store-macro save-file shell-command &cat "perl " $cfilname ~endm 3 store-macro save-file shell-command &cat "perl -c " $cfilname ~endm 4 store-macro save-file shell-command "make" ~endm bind-key execute-macro-1 ^A-p bind-key execute-macro-2 ^A-r bind-key execute-macro-3 ^A-c bind-key execute-macro-4 ^A-m
      oh there are so much more useful things...
      map O#!/usr/bin/perl -w<CR>use strict;<CR> map :!perl -c % map :!perl % map :!perldoc -f " debugging imap debug warn "\n";<ESC>hhhi<C-R>=expand("%:t:r")<CR> " find perl variables and copy them map <F10> ?\(\$\\|@\\|%\)<CR>v/\><CR>hy<ESC>h " debugging imap ddumper <ESC>gglouse Data::Dumper; $Data::Dumper::Indent = 1; $Da +ta::Dumper::Sortkeys = 1;<ESC>``
      set makeprg=perl -Mstrict -wc % set errorformat=%m at %f line %l.

      Now you can just type :make to check the script; Vim's quickfix (:help quickfix) will then pick up perl's error messages. Besides the handy (and very key-bindable :) ) commands to navigate error locations, you can also do a :copen to open a window on a special buffer that lets you visually navigate errors and move to their locations.

      If you edit stuff other than Perl code with Vim, you should probably place these somewhere that only sets them for Perl code files. :help ftplugin-override

      Makeshifts last the longest.

Re: Which text editor
by pbeckingham (Parson) on Mar 16, 2004 at 05:36 UTC

    I use vim on Solaris, OS X and Linux and UltraEdit on Windows.

    I think the important thing is to try several, and use what works for you. The things you mention are handled by pretty much every modern editor. Everyone's needs are different, and don't let anyone tell you there is only one answer. In colledge, I used ed and thought it was sophisticated. vedit was a wonder. Brief was fantastic. Anyone remember Microsoft's m editor? How far they have come now.

    It is also useful to have some familiarity to the editors that are found bundled with every operating system - you will frequently find yourself working on a machine that doesn't have your choice of editor on it. Flexibility will help you.

    Don/t believe anyone who says edlin.

Re: Which text editor
by Anonymous Monk on Mar 16, 2004 at 09:22 UTC
Re: Which text editor
by halley (Prior) on Mar 16, 2004 at 04:32 UTC
    I use vi (not vim) when root, or emacs any other time. This has been true for 16 years of Un*x use, ever since I downloaded emacs via kermit over four hops of telnet from That's back when "bang notation" was still handy.


    [ e d @ h a l l e y . c c ]

Re: Which text editor
by pelagic (Priest) on Mar 16, 2004 at 09:23 UTC
    I don't know the average frequency but I think this topic pops up at least once a month.
    I'd suggest to implement some sort of statistics feature (e.g. as for location, os or birthday). Like that we could point editor-curious monks to the statistics about that topic.

    and b.t.w. vi rules!

    I can resist anything but temptation.
Re: Which text editor
by bonoboy (Sexton) on Mar 16, 2004 at 10:02 UTC

    People think I'm crazy, but I use vim everywhere. dude. - because you've got too much time on your hands
Re: Which text editor
by jonnyfolk (Vicar) on Mar 16, 2004 at 05:38 UTC
    BBEdit 7.0 on MacOs 9.2. Good all round editor - let's me know I'm making mistakes through highlighting, and picks up syntax errors before going on line. Wish there were fewer mistakes to pick up... (maybe in the next upgrade!)
Re: Which text editor
by Taulmarill (Deacon) on Mar 16, 2004 at 09:11 UTC
    when it comes to win32, i realy like Crimson Editor.
    its a full featured text editor whith nice features like direct ftp open/save, and its freeware. Ok, at last its not open source, but its a good peace of software.
Re: Which text editor
by b10m (Vicar) on Mar 16, 2004 at 16:48 UTC
    "I was curious to find out what text editors others use when working on Perl code."

    I really don't see why someone can be curious in the choice of text editor of others, besides starting a flame. I mean, does it really matters what editor people use? It's like wondering what kind of a pen a writer uses and what kind of paper. It doesn't matter, it's the story/book that counts.

    If you're not happy with your current editor of choice, Super Search or Google around and try a few others till you're satisfied.

    Even worse is too see this topic come back again and again ...

    Besides all this ... Vim++ ;)


    All code is usually tested, but rarely trusted.

      I really don't see why someone can be curious in the choice of text editor of others, besides starting a flame.

      Don't you think you're a bit presumptuous there?

      Makeshifts last the longest.

        Oh most likely yes, and these nodes of mine probably end up in the negatives pretty high. I just don't understand why people don't start looking for information before asking a question. Usually we have Abigail-II responding in a manner like mine, but since he's awfully nice today, I'll question it :)

        I most certainly don't disagree with people asking questions, even obvious ones that have been asked before, but I value it when a person actually does look around before posting something. In this case, I don't think it's very hard to find numerous editor suggestion on almost every known OS.

        Maybe it's just me, but I couldn't care less about what editor other people use.


        All code is usually tested, but rarely trusted.
      Just so you can sleep soundly at night, I asked the question after I had done a search for text editors in PerlMonks and found nothing specifically relevent.

      I also asked the question as I am very happy with my current editor of choice however new editors arise quietly in the night and only people like PerlMonks would be aware of them - especially in relation to coding in Perl.

      I can not explain why others have asked the question mind you :-)

      Oh.. and I have just discovered IndigoPerl as a result of this topic. Good things come in mysterious packages.

      ___ /\__\ "What is the world coming to?" \/__/
Re: Which text editor
by TomDLux (Vicar) on Mar 16, 2004 at 05:33 UTC

    I understand that topics need to be re-visited at intervals. However, this topic was last discussed 48 hours ago.

    On the other hand, I got lots of XP for telling all the Windows users about PerlEdit. Maybe it will happen again, and I'll finally catch up with merlyn.


Re: Which text editor
by Aristotle (Chancellor) on Mar 16, 2004 at 14:46 UTC
    As can be seen from my other replies on this thread. I use Vim for everything I do, on every platform. (Including Windows, when I have the misfortune to be working on it.) Learn it, live it, love it.

    Makeshifts last the longest.

Re: Which text editor
by delirium (Chaplain) on Mar 16, 2004 at 15:58 UTC
    I was fond of DOS Edit for writing code, before I discovered emacs (and *nix systems). DOS Edit, unlike most MS products, won't try to append extensions onto files, play with line endings, waste load time with macro or syntax highlighting support, and runs slower than dirt when your code gets too long, warning you to take a different approach. The 80x24 window makes you conscious about code clarity, too.

    Go ahead. Ask me if I'm joking. Still, today it's emacs at home, Ultra Edit at work, and I remember the good old days fondly, without succumbing to their ridiculous limitations today.

Re: Which text editor
by neniro (Priest) on Mar 16, 2004 at 16:31 UTC
    Okay, almost all existing Editors are listed above, but I'd like to add my favorite for windows too: MED.

    It costs 25 EUR, with free updates for lifetime and it is comparable to TextPad or UltraEdit.

Re: Which text editor
by Wampa (Hermit) on Mar 16, 2004 at 08:56 UTC

    I use Vim. I think it is good selection for programing.

    Programing in Embperl and all questions are related to Embperl.
    Excuse my bad English !!!
Re: Which text editor
by zentara (Archbishop) on Mar 16, 2004 at 16:01 UTC
    Well even though I'll be downvoted again by the vi advocates, I use the built-in editor of MidnightCommander, called mcedit. It has great coloration for Perl, has very intuitive keys,macros, and has a visible file manager for you to immediately test your script, just hit enter on the script, observer the output, then hit F4 to edit. I usually have 3 or 4 mc xterms opened at a time. It has menus for search and replace, can do "column edits", and I think is the easiest and fastest way to do Perl. It also has a built-in hex editor.

    I don't dispute that vi is a better editor from technical viewpoints, but I find that anyone can sit down and start working with mc, (and without cheatsheets so common to vi).

    I'm not really a human, but I play one on earth. flash japh
Re: Which text editor
by nz_undergrad (Initiate) on Mar 16, 2004 at 09:02 UTC
    I actually use EditPlus 2. A good multi-purpose editor which can handle many different programming languages natively

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