Serpent Addiction

Wednesday, November 23, 2005


A couple people whose opinions I respect have expressed admiration for jEdit, a programmer's editor written in Java.

Since Java is non-free software, it requires more than a simple apt-get command to install jEdit on my machine. Fortunately, the Ubuntu How-To lists a fairly straightforward procedure to install the Java runtime. I used to write quite a bit of code in Java. It's interesting that I haven't had Java installed on my development machine in some time.

A few minor tweaks later and jEdit is running. It supports an large number of features, plug-ins, language support, etc. You move the cursor around with the standard arrows, Home/End, PgUp/PgDn keys, which will make it easy for most Windows users. As a touch typist, however, I prefer to keep my fingers on the keyboard - even moving my right hand to the arrow keys disrupts my speed and concentration. It's certainly possible to remap keys to control-key combinations, but I dislike building special-purpose key configurations. It's always a problem, when you move to another machine, even temporarily. The final negative is the memory required for jEdit. For comparison:

  • vi, Vim: 4.7MB

  • xemacs: 19.4MB

  • jEdit: 258MB

Memory is getting cheaper, but I can run a dozen emacs sessions (or 50 vi sessions) for the cost of one running jEdit process. I think this is the showstopper for me, though I'll continue to play with jEdit.


Post a Comment

<< Home