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jEdit is Good

March 27, 2010

jEdit is another text editor that I like. It’s a good bit easier to use than vim; it doesn’t have any of vim’s anachronisms while still sporting a robust plugin ecosystem and syntax hiliting for pretty much anything you might throw at it. Like vim, jedit isn’t that appealing out of the box but it improves a lot with some customization. Installing the BufferTabs plugin will give you tabbed file editing which is devilishly useful when editing many different files. There’s no theme systems approach but Utilities -> Global Options -> Text Area let’s you modify the colors used in the text area from the initial, harsh white-on-black to something more soothing. You can also turn on word-wrap here along with anti-aliasing.

jEdit is a Java program and so can eat up a good bit of memory which can be painful on a netbook. You can reduce the amount of memory it grabs at start up by modifying the C:\Program Files\jEdit\jedit.bat script that launches the program.

Finally note that on Windows 7 there’s a nasty auto-save bug. When working on an unsaved document jEdit will periodically try to save a file called something like #Untitled-1# into the C:\Program Files\jEdit\ directory. This directory is, of course, read-only and so jEdit will periodically pop-up a confusing error dialog informing you that it can’t save some strange file when you’re just trying to whip off a quick note. The jEdit team appears to be aware of this bad behavior but there’s no fix in the latest release. To solve this problem you’re going to need to give your user account ‘Full Control’ permission over the jedit install directory.

Enjoy.

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From → netbook

One Comment
  1. Bernat permalink

    Indeed, there’s some sort of theme manager for the text area, the plugin is Editor Scheme and it offers several color sets but you can also create your own. There’s a lot to discover in JEdit.

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