Re: [dev] Plain text editor that sucks less - an alternative to VIM?

From: Dimitris Papastamos <>
Date: Wed, 2 Jul 2014 10:12:57 +0100

On Wed, Jul 02, 2014 at 09:39:20AM +0400, Alexander S. wrote:
> 2014-06-29 18:43 GMT+04:00 Aapo Vienamo <>:
> >> 2. Fantastic syntax highlighting
> > This may be considered harmfull in general. [0]
> > [0]

> Hello,
> This snippet of thought makes a case that reading code is like reading
> a literature, when in fact, surprise, it is not.

He specifically says "Unlike novels blabla".

> You can literally replace his arguments against syntax highlighting
> with arguments against alignment in tabular data,
> because reading a literature with alignment will prove to be
> difficult. Or that you don't need indentation because it makes
> you focus on parsing tree rather than semantics, if we're taking it
> closer to the programming world.

There are always trade-offs. Indentation is worth it.

> The ridiculousness of a comparison would be more apparent if, instead
> of coloring verbs in text (which I personally
> do not consider keywords, verbs are operators; the program text is not
> very saturated with keywords, and those serve
> more as headings), it indeed did compare a snippet with and without
> highlighting.

Try it.

> Quote:
> > Syntax errors will be found by the compiler anyway; the developers shouldn't waste time looking for them.
> The point of syntax highlighting is that you don't have to waste time
> looking for them, as they become apparent;
> indeed, you also don't need to spend time compiling it and reading
> what the compiler spew forthh at you in response.

The compiler output should be relatively easy to read assuming you are
familiar with your compiler (with the exception of g++). You can pattern
match it for the most part because of the limited amount of different
error messages you can get. You can then simply jump to the corresponding
line in the code.

Use your compiler with sensible options enabled.

> This statement would be like saying that spellcheckers are useless
> because correctors are there to fix typos in a draft.

Stop applying this concept to everything.

> The desire of some people even in spheres that are supposedly
> technologically advanced to go all "I'm better than you because I
> don't
> NEED your newfangled this and that" is frightening.

That's just his opinion and his experience. Get over it.

FWIW I have not used syntax highlighting in years. My personal
experience is similar to what lft is talking about in his article.
Received on Wed Jul 02 2014 - 11:12:57 CEST

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