Text Editors

The wikipedia definition, "A text editor is a type of program used for editing plain text files." While you may have a preference you definitely need to be comfortable and knowledgeable with more than one editor.  For example one may be developing on a laptop with a favorite editor and then pushing to a server.  Suppose there is some issue on the server, so with a terminal you SSH into the server to have a look around.  Now your favorite editor may not be available in the terminal, so you need to choose one that is available on the server. Later you may be working on a diferent machine with a different operating system, so you would need to know how to access the editor there too.  Be a polyglot.

Features versus cost.  Every operating system has at least one minimal text editor that will suffice for viewing and small changes, however to be efficient features are needed to make repetitive tasks easier.  Some examples of helpful features include syntax highlighting, overview, bracket matching, function listing, autocompletion etc.

There are some articles 1, 2 reviewing text editors and lists of text editors. Here are a few that have been mentioned in recent meetups.



  • Sublime for Windows, Linux, and Mac OSX


Command Line

  • Vi – Linux terminal based
  • Pico, Nano - Linux terminal based
  • Vim - for Windows, Linux, an Mac OSX; Often the default GIT message editor is Vim.  You need to know where to find the documentation for a few commands in case you need to edit a git commit message.