E Text Editor - Textmate on Windows? (and Linux)

A good text editor is an essential tool for people who write a lot of text or code. After a long search for the perfect editor, including jEdit, Emacs, SciTE and others, I've settled on Vim.

Last night I found out about a new editor that looks promising.

It's called E Text Editor, and it has many features of Textmate (which only runs on Mac OS/X). At the moment, E Text Editor only runs on Windows, but a Linux version is planned. It is interesting that some of the functionality of the editor on Windows requires Cygwin—a Unix-like environment for Windows. (E Text Editor will install Cygwin for you if you don't already have it.)

To learn more about E Text Editor, I recommend watching the screencast and then downloading the free trial. There is information on how to use it in the documentation wiki. Try creating an HTML document and then using the snippets feature. For example, after setting the syntax mode to HTML, type doctype and hit the TAB key. The editor will complete the DOCTYPE for you. Use TAB to expand HTML tags and to navigate through the document. The editor automatically places tabstops in the document for you.

I was impressed with the editor from my brief experiment with the demo version. I found myself wishing that it had Vim's movement commands though. I don't like using arrow keys to move the cursor because arrow keys are much slower than Vim's h,j,k,l and f,t,gg,G,(,), etc. I also missed Vim's ability to highlight sections of text, for example by pressing vt< it will highlight (v = "visual mode") to (t = "to") the next < symbol (from the current position to the beginning of the end tag of the current HTML element). I don't know if E Text Editor gives that much control.

I am going to stick with Vim, but I will install the Linux demo version of E Text Editor when it is released and see what it has to offer. If you use the Windows operating system, E Text Editor might be worth the $34.95.


Have you tried NetBeans? The

Have you tried NetBeans? The Ruby/Rails support is outstanding IMO (you have to get latest build to get all the goodies).

Webmaster Tips's picture

Net Beans for Ruby on Rails

I haven't tried Net Beans for Ruby on Rails, but will download it and give it a try.

Webmaster Tips's picture

Netbeans Ruby on Rail

lf you are using linux, try

lf you are using linux, try scribes.
Simple interface, but powerfull features, espacially the snippet system.


Try jedit.org's Jedit

The tool is solid, very cross platform, and everything you thought you needed, is probably already in the plugins manager, just click to download and install. I've been using it for 6 years, it has php integration for syntax errors, sftp open and write to file via plugin. Does pretty much everything I need.

Shouldn't Even Bother

The fact that it requires (and installs) Cygwin pretty much means they shouldn't even bother. Not only is this going to add bloat to the system, and install an additional shell environment the user may or may not want, but it defeats the purpose of what TextMate even is.

TM is a graphical wrapper around the emacs program - created by people who understand its power intimatley but wanted to wrap a GUI around it to increase the barrier to entry. Don't get me wrong its a great text editor - I use it all the time - but on Windows you can get much more out of either using one of the many 'notepad replacements' (UltraEdit, Notepad++, jEdit) - but if you're that serious about your coding step into a full blown IDE (i.e. Eclipse) and you'll wonder why you ever lusted after TextMate anyway (except maybe the fact that the developer refuses to power TM out of the OSX world).

TM is just a text editor, with powerful hooks to other functions/programs on the system, but it's not a reason to cygwin you're way to faking Unix, in order to create a TM rip-off. If you want the kind of power *nix as to offer, download Ubuntu and get over with it. Or just get one of the many cross platform java-based tools out there (again, Eclipse and a host of others).

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Textmate / Ubuntu / Cygwin

I agree about switching to Ubuntu. I prefer just using Vim (on Ubuntu). I tried using Windows with Cygwin for a while, but it's not the same as Linux. I thought E Text Editor might be a choice for people who are stuck in Windows but who want a slick Textmate-like editor.

Is TM a wrapper around emacs? I wasn't aware of that.

TextMate != Emacs

TextMate has nothing to do with Emacs. See the description on the homepage.

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