Posts about jEdit

My Favorite Text Editor in the 2020s

For decades, my favorite place to write has been in the venerable text editor / programmer's environment EMACS. It's a superb LISP environment, with a long history, is fantastically hackable, and has a mode for nearly everything.

But for the past three years, I've abandoned it for a new friend, from a most unlikely source: Microsoft's Visual Studio Code. You know, the Flight Simulator company ;-)

This is a big change for me. Why after all of this time have I done this? The simple answer is: it Just Works. It's EMACS' spiritual successor in many ways.

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Essentials to make Windows almost bareable

Okay, so I hate working in Windows, but on my employer's equipment at least, I must live with it. After having had this machine replaced twice (faulty Dell hardware) and rebuilt more times than I can remember (Windows BSODs), for a total of at least 3 system migrations this past year, I thought I'd better keep a list of what free software to install on top of Windows, and what adjustments to make, so that at least I don't feel like I'm wearing a straight jacket. Here goes:

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Monospace fonts

I finally got fed up enough with Courier New to start searching for a legible, monospace font to use in jEdit. In Emacs, I'm particularly fond of the standard X font "misc-fixed" (though it's a little tough to tell appart O and 0 still). But for jEdit, the Java monospace font seems to map to Courier New in Windows, and to some God-awful font on Linux.

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jEdit macros, vs. Emacs functions

I've been playing with customising jEdit a little bit, and decided to have a go at writing some simple date insertion macros. These perform the same work as some old elisp functions I wrote years ago in Emacs, to insert date/time stamps in various formats. In my .emacs file, I bind these functions to short-cut keys, and then use them for updating Changelogs in code and in offline journal entries.

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