March 3, 2010 at 4:54 am 2 comments

| Gabriel |

I hadn’t been paying much attention to Editra since my last comparison shopping of text editors, but recently the project has made some really big strides and is shaping up to be a great cross-platform text editor. Most notably for me, it has both syntax highlighting and code-folding support for Stata. (In addition to R, perl, LaTex, bash, html, and plenty of languages I don’t use).  Furthermore, it now has a plug-in framework for language syntax so adding support for additional languages is easy if you have a Scintilla file. (The old method was to recompile from source — yes, really). There’s also a great “Generate” feature which will let you preserve your syntax highlighting in html, rtf, or tex, though in my experience the tex filter is buggy. (Note that there is a similar “copy as RTF” plug-in for TextMate). Finally, the Mac version comes as a binary and actually looks like a Quartz-native Mac program — no Fink / X11 hassle.

Editra is still considered an alpha release and I remain happy with TextMate for my own use, but if you need cross-platform and/or free, I’d recommend considering it. Note that these features could be especially valuable for teaching stats, since students have little money and use a variety of platforms.

Also, another free cross-platform editor worth checking out is Komodo. It has code-folding and syntax highlighting but as far as I can tell, the Stata syntax only supports highlighting (no folding) and there’s no R support at all, though it has a well-documented plug-in system so it should be feasible for someone to write or port an R syntax file to it.


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  • 1. istib  |  March 3, 2010 at 5:16 am

    Small correction: Komodo does have R support via SciViews-K. Yet, Textmate still remains my N.1 choice

    • 2. gabrielrossman  |  March 3, 2010 at 12:51 pm

      thanks, glad to hear that i’m wrong about R support for Komodo

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