The right tool for the job

So, on my quest to find an open source text editor to allow me to write code in an automated and effective way, I did not realize I'd start using Vim, the god-awful builtin editor in most Linux distributions that somehow has a fuckton of supporters. Don't get me wrong, Vim would be my #1 choice, too, if we were still in the 90s. It's 2017, however, and I deserve better tools for the tasks at hand.

An option that was readily available was Sublime Text, which also has a legion of fans but has never managed to click with me. There wasn't anything particularly bad about it, but there weren't many things I loved about it either.

I thought I was going to end up with Atom, a powerful text editor made by the folks at GitHub that I use for many purposes at home, not only coding. However, it is one of the main villains of the lack of RAM memory available at my desktop, and I can't risk having similar issues at my workstation, so I left it as a plan B. If you have several GBs to spare, however, I recommend it.

In the end, my weapon of choice surprised not only everyone in the office, but also myself. A friend recommended me Visual Studio Code, an open-source code editor by Microsoft. Yes, you have read it right: Microsoft built a code editor, published the whole source code online, and made it available to all platforms (Linux included).

I've been using Microsoft development tools since 2012, so I was expecting a high-quality product, but this one I couldn't see coming. It's very similar to Atom, but lightning fast. Straightforward, but packed full of features. And, to top it off, Microsoft's choice of fonts and colors are a joy to work with, making the rest of my Ubuntu 16.04 LTS look uglier by comparison. It's still not as good as a fully-featured IDE, of course, but it's pretty close to perfection in terms of text editors.

So, here's my recommendation to you: don't let your prejudice prevent you from trying it out. Use it for a week and you might surprise yourself: it looks like a simple app, but it's remarkably good at what it does.

Tags: tools 



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