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.