19 Apr 2012

The minimalistic editor

I have been using this IDE and I'm marvelled at the simple important things that were left out of the editor. So, I decided to make a list of the things that should make up a simple minimalistic editor, from my own perspective, as a developer.

The core
Really, this is all you need to have in an editor. If you miss any of these, you don't have an editor yet.

  • Syntax highlighting/Code coloring
  • Line numbering
  • Auto indenting
  • Word wrap
  • Code block collapsing

The forgivables
Your editor can have these but if you miss any of it, you are forgivable.

  • Auto complete (depends on your target programming language. For a general editor you must have html, css and some basic C methods in there)
  • Multiple file tabs
  • File explorer sidebar

Want to take one step further? Just these other two:

  • Multiple views (different or same file in like two views in same window)
  • Themes (or style customization)

That does it for me. Now, your turn. What makes a simple editor to you?


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My name is Opeyemi Obembe. I build things for web and mobile and write about my experiments. Follow me on Twitter—@kehers.


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