Monday Question: What Is Your Text Editor, and Why?

Monday Questions is a recurring series on Approaching Normal. For more questions like this, please visit the archives

The text editor is the programmer’s main tool. The best programmers I know are masters of their chosen editor, whatever that might be. Knowing how to be productive with your editor can make the difference between a good developer and a great developer.

So today, I’m asking you to share with us what your favorite text editor is and why.

My editor of choice is Emacs. It’s the first “real” editor that I ever bothered to learn well. I started learning it right after reading The Pragmatic Programmer for the first time. I have a love/hate relationship with Emacs. It’s an amazingly powerful editor - there’s very little that it can’t do. Unfortunately, it’s as ugly as they come and a pain to customize. Lisp is cool in the same sense that Latin is cool. Beautiful language, but hardly anyone speaks it. I had hoped that when I made the move to OS X, I would switch to TextMate. I tried it, and even bought the Peepcode screencast on Textmate. In the end though, I couldn’t give up Emacs. It has too many features that I rely on that Textmate just doesn’t have, like split buffer windows and dired mode.

As always, post your answer in the comments below.

Monday Question: What Music Do You Code By?

Monday Questions is a recurring series on Approaching Normal. For more questions like this, please visit the archives

Most people, it seems, listen to music while they work. Whether it’s to aid concentration or drown out their coworkers, I see most people do it. So today’s question is:

What music do you prefer to code/design/whatever by?

I have very diverse musical tastes and listen to just about everything, but I find that lyrics are distracting when I need to concentrate. So I prefer Jazz like Miles Davis and John Coltrane, or classical like Yo Yo Ma when I need to focus.

Monday Question: What Source Code Management System Do You Use, and Why?

Monday Questions is a recurring series on Approaching Normal. For more questions like this, please visit the archives

I’ve been a CVS and SVN user for a number of years. Recently I’ve been watching all of the buzz around distributed SCMs, Git in particular. Git has been adopted by a number of projects lately, Rubinius being the one I noticed most recently. I took down my SVN repository when I moved web hosts, and haven’t put it back up yet. It seems like a good time to switch to Git (or something similar) if there’s a benefit.

So this Monday’s Question is: What Source Code Management System do you prefer, and why?

Monday Question: Who Are You and Why Are You Here

Monday Questions is a recurring series on Approaching Normal. For more questions like this, please visit the archives

Feedburner tells me that I now have over 100 subscribers to my RSS feed. That of course doesn’t include the people who read this via Planet Ruby on Rails. In honor of this milestone, today’s question is: Who are you, and why are you here?. I’d like you to introduce yourself, and tell me why you come here.

Post your answers in the comments below.

Monday Question: What Technologies Are You Exploring?

Monday Questions is a recurring series on Approaching Normal. For more questions like this, please visit the archives

This is a follow up to last week’s question How do you decide what technologies to explore?
Today I want to know What technologies are you exploring?

I’ll go first. Aside from Ruby and Rails, Erlang and CouchDB are the things that I’m currently spending time looking into.

Post your answers in the comments below.

Monday Question: How Do You Choose What Technologies to Explore?

Monday Questions is a recurring series on Approaching Normal. For more questions like this, please visit the archives

Technology moves at such a rapid pace that there is constantly something new that is tempting me to explore it. I find it very difficult to pick and choose which things to devote time to learning. So today’s question is: How do you choose what technologies to learn more about, and which to ignore?

Put your answers in the comments below.

Monday Question: What Are You Reading?

I’m going to start posting questions for my readers every Monday. At least until I run out of questions.

Last week, I posted a collection of mini book reviews. I have a bit of an addiction to books, which should be obvious by now. So today’s questions is: What are you reading? Doesn’t matter whether it’s fiction or non-fiction, technical or biographical. Let us all know what you’re reading (or have read recently).