On Text Editors

The first text editor I used after graduating university back in the day was Edlin . . . on DOS 1.0. That nasty old editor prompted an ongoing quest to find the ‘perfect’ text editor. I’ve used many over the years, and on several different operating systems but haven’t yet come across one that ‘just works’ for me. The main challenge is that I use several operating systems, each with their own editors.

On Linux, I’ve settled on vi, more out of history and habit than anything else and Notepad++ on Windows. Both editors worked fine, but I never really fell in love with them. I’ve tried the Netbeans IDE, and it has a lot of really cool features that I’d like to see in a lightweight package. I guess I want something that loads as fast as vi, works in a terminal, yet has the features of Netbeans.

The other day, I ran across Sublime Text. One of the cool things about it is that it has Linux, OSX as well as Windows 7 distributions. It’s also received a lot of rave reviews on the Internet. After a very short trial, I purchased a license that I can use on any of the systems I use. What a superb arrangement.

Out of the box, Sublime Text looks pretty cool. It works well with Linux, but not in a terminal. I think I’ll spend some time with it to see if it’s the text editor of my dreams.

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Update:

I don’t do a huge amount of coding, but when I do, it’ll typically be with Sublime Text. Otherwise, for quick updates, I’ll either use Notepad++ (for printing in Windows) or vi in Linux. That multi-line edit capability in Sublime Text is pretty awesome.

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A Short VMWare and VirtualBox Comparison

‘ve been using Oracle’s VirtualBox software for a few years and have been considering using VMWare Workstation. VirtualBox works great with Linux Mint 15 with Mate (running Gnome 2), but I’ve had some level of difficulty with almost every other distribution of Linux. That’s not to say I couldn’t eventually sort out most issues with a greater or lesser amount of fiddling. I just don’t want to.

In the case of Mint 15 with Mate, I can resize the parent window, and Mint will resize itself to accomodate the new window size. Mint also works flawlessly in full screen as well as in VirtualBox’s seamless mode. All this without having to install the VirtualBox Additions. Ubuntu 12.04 was the last distribution of that family that came close to Mint’s ‘out of the box’ performance with VirtualBox. I’ve also tried some other distributions such as Debian, Fedora, Kubuntu, Centos, Mint with Cinnamon. Unfortunately, none worked as well as Mint 15 with Mate.

This doesn’t necessarily bode well for VirtualBox though, as I feel it should be working better with the newer distributions, again ‘out of the box’.

VMWare Workstation 10, on the other hand, works very well with Ubuntu 13.10. Performance is absolutely spectacular in full screen mode.

Mint 15 with Mate doesn’t fare as well under VMWare though. Like Ubuntu, it has fixed screen sizes in Windowed mode, but it doesn’t automatically adjust the screen size in full screen mode. Furthermore, the missing 1920×1080 display settings option (well, it didn’t show up for me) also leaves me pretty cold.

As far as licensing goes, VirtualBox is free, whereas I would need to purchase a $250 license for both of my laptop and desktop computers. That clearly takes VMWare Workstation 10 off the table for me.

If I could purchase a single license to support both my laptop and desktop, I consider taking the VMWare Workstation plunge, but would need to perform a LOT more testing before doing so.

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