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Top 10 code editors for gourmet programmers

29 November 2021, Monday By Priyanka Boruah
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I'm talking about little-known, but cool code editors that definitely deserve your attention.

Why do I need something other than Visual Studio Code and Sublime Text?

Both editors are smart, but not perfect. They may not suit your preferences, and if you are unaware of alternative solutions, you will suffer in the dark. And among the little-known editors, there may be an application of your dreams.

Besides, programmers sometimes get bored and really want to try new technologies or tools. This desire can be stopped by installing a couple of new IDE or code editors.

1. OniVim 2

One of the most promising editors, which is still in the alpha development stage and is available only to patrons of the OniVim project. It's hard to get it, but it definitely deserves attention, because it combines the best features of three famous code editors: Sublime Text, Vim and Visual Studio Code.

OniVim 2

  • OniVim is written in Reason, a language that converts jаvascript and OCaml components into native code. Therefore, it is productive. Launches faster than monsters like Visual Studio Code or WebStorm. Faster responsive to user input, feels as fluid and responsive as Sublime Text.
  • The controls in OniVim are identical to those in Vim. It uses a modal type of control, which involves operating with a single set of keys and switching between modes for entering and navigating text. Many people find this concept to be more convenient than the usual management methods.
  • Also, the developers want to use the free Microsoft APIs to add to their editor all the plugins and themes that are available for Visual Studio Code. 

The result is a combination of the best development solutions in one product. It's very ambitious and interesting, but it's still a long way from a stable release.

OniVim 2 official website

2. Neovim

Neovim is an attempt to bring Vim back to life. Yes, it is, of course, more alive than anyone alive, but Neovim makes it much more modern, eliminating along the way an impressive chunk of the shortcomings that haunt the archaic good old editor.

The main advantage of Neovim is its extensibility. The developers have created an API for adding plugins and themes to the editor. Thus, it managed to make Neovim a full-fledged alternative to modern editors. 

Neovim

With LSP support, Neovim can add syntax highlighting and autocompletion to any language. And even for such relatively unpopular ones as Svelte or Alpine. Also in the Neovim interface, you can add support for TypeScript, linters of any kind, the Prettier extension and other external utilities familiar to graphic editors. 

All add-ons are based on the LUA scripting language, which makes Vim very responsive and fast. It can be loaded with a bunch of features, but it will still run many times faster than Visual Studio Code and its analogues. 

Neovim also has excellent documentation, thanks to which even a programmer far from Vi can get comfortable with an outdated interface and reap the benefits of this controversial but convenient application.

Neovim official website

3. Neovide

This is a simple (in terms of technical implementation) alternative wrapper for Neovim, written in the Rust language. The idea behind the program was to visually modify the basic editor client, which by default does not look very disingenuous. 

Neovide offers the same feature set in a nicer way. For example, the animation of moving the cursor from the usual disappearance and reappearance in a new place turns into a flight of the cursor between lines. It looks at least amusing.

Neovide

In addition, scrolling is much smoother in Neovide. Scrolling through large documents no longer looks jagged. Neovide also has the ability to more meticulously customize the appearance of fonts and add emoji to the text.

In general, Neovide is the same Neovim, but with a changed entourage. If you wanted to try a vim-like editor, but aesthetic senses did not allow it, then now the problem is solved. 

So far, Neovide does not have installation packages, and to run you need to build the utility yourself using the source code. Fortunately, there are detailed instructions for this on the Neovide page in GitHub.

4. LunarVim

Another extension for Neovim, but this time on a bigger scale. The idea behind Lunar is to transform a basic Vi editor into a full-fledged IDE. This happens through the use of the latest version of Neovim, which supports LSP (provides syntax highlighting and auto-completion for all existing languages) and the introduction of additional plugins. 

It turns out an analogue of Visual Studio Code, but with a more productive and minimalist base. No body kit in the form of Electron and other technologies that devour RAM. And with the famous control system and Vim modality.

In fact, this is a dogmatic version of the editor with its own set of options and extensions, so Lunar can be thought of as someone's ready-made Neovim assembly. In this case, the configuration files and the extensions themselves are separated from the editor. So you can edit it to your liking, changing any of the components as you see fit. 

LunarVim

At the same time, high performance is maintained due to the "lazy" loading of plugins. The editor starts before the add-ons are activated, so documents through LunarVim open instantly. 

LunarVim official website

5. slap

slap cleverly balances between Vim and nano, two popular command line text editors. It is similar to Sublime Text, runs in the console and is suitable for working with remote PCs over SSH.

slap

Among the advantages of slap over its direct competitors, it is worth highlighting:

  • Full mouse support even when managing the server via Secure Shell.
  • Convenient file management system (sidebar, like in modern editors).
  • Double click on a piece of code to highlight all its repetitions in the document.
  • The function of creating your own keyboard shortcuts to launch various editor functions or change text.
  • Endless editing story. You can revert to any change in your code, even the very first one.
  • Automatic indentation and auto-completion of markup (brackets).
  • Advanced plugin system.

Slap GitHub page

6. Espresso

An application for creating websites to match macOS. Espresso developers have created a very organic and aesthetically pleasing HTML and CSS editing tool. 

Espresso has a convenient page preview mode. All changes in the code can be tracked in a separate window. Every bit of code is instantly displayed in the Preview window. There is also a separate tool for quickly finding the desired elements and editing their styles.

Espresso

Espresso by default supports snippets for quickly creating page templates and offers to add your own to the program. With them, you can quickly put together a wireframe page without wasting time applying basic styles. 

Despite its isolation and lack of an advanced plugin creation system, the editor supports working with dynamic components and modern jаvascript syntax, so it is also suitable for creating more complex applications. 

And the icing on the cake is that Espresso has the function of quickly publishing a ready-made website on its server or using the Clodette service (this is a cloud platform for hosting static web resources). 

Espresso official website

7. Svelte Storm

It is an open source application that aims to be the perfect tool for Svelte programmers. It has a built-in State Manager, real-time displaying the state of the application, syntax highlighting, code completion, built-in terminal and other necessary components. 

Svelte Storm

Svelte Storm is a versatile IDE. It runs on Windows, macOS and Linux because it is built on top of Electron. The Svelte language itself acts as a code base here, which immediately hints at the capabilities of the framework. 

Technically, the IDE resembles a Visual Studio Code mod with pre-installed plugins. If desired, a tool from Microsoft can be turned into something similar. 

One of the advantages of Svelte Storm over other IDEs is the focus on a specific language, because of this it works much faster and does not consume as much resources as the same Visual Studio Code or Atom. 

Of the significant disadvantages, it is worth highlighting the absence of a package for installation. You will have to build the program through npm and run it every time through it, which is strange and lazy for an Electron application on the part of the developers.

Svelte Storm GitHub page 

8. Nova

Nova in its concept is much closer to the usual editors. The creators of the editor did not try to create something new and fanciful, but made a multi-functional development environment specifically for macOS. 

Nova

It is a native client that uses Apple APIs and other technologies designed specifically for Mac computers. In this regard, the editor turned out to be nice and very fast, in the spirit of old-school macOS applications. 

The creators of Nova tried to fit everything they needed into it and make a coherent system of extensions (they did it well). Unlike most cross-platform editors, there are no performance issues or memory leaks here. There is a convenient git client, fast project search, high-quality code hints and support for all modern technologies.

It also has a chic neon theme inside the code editor to give the drive movie vibe. 

For computer users, Apple is a great alternative to well-known programs. True, it costs as much as $99, which is quite a lot compared to most competitors. Fortunately, there was no subscription and you need to pay once. 

Nova official website

9. BBEdit

BBEdit is a fairly old editor, but it is widely known only in the circles of orthodox Apple technology users. Nowadays, such monsters are not particularly needed by anyone, but earlier both developers and writers favored it.

Bare Bones has tried to make an editor suitable for any task, so that everyone - from web developer to blogger - can use their brainchild and get the most out of it. 

Therefore, a hefty number of functions for processing text "out of the box" are built into it. By default, BBEdit understands HTML markup and can automatically complete code as you write it. It also has support for Git and other necessary tools. 

BBEdit

The application launches and runs faster than most competitors, but functionally falls short of them. 

BBEdit doesn't have the advanced extensions system like Visual Studio Code or at least Sublime Text. So you can't even add TypeScript support here. Not to mention something more modern and sophisticated. 

BBEdit official website

10. Whisk

An editor for those who are just starting to learn HTML or PHP and want to see all the changes that he makes to the document in real time. 

Whisk isn't burdened with rich functionality and won't suit 90% of developers. It's easier to think of it as a learning tool or as a utility for quick markup editing, but that's the beauty of it. The program is fast both in terms of productivity and development. This is what wins you over. 

Whisk

Whisk's interface is divided into two parts. One displays the code itself with syntax highlighting, and the other displays the result of this code. When scrolling, the preview window is automatically scrolled, so you will never get lost in the document and will always clearly understand what and where you are editing.

Whisk also has a companion app for mobile devices. It shows your layout on your smartphone. This helps when creating responsive layouts. 

Whisk official website

Instead of a conclusion

That's all. Perhaps in this collection you will find an editor that will be the perfect tool for you. Or maybe you will love the one you are using now even more. It is important to keep writing good code and it is not so important in which application. 

Discuss

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