Programming ...

For me it started out as a passion, when I wasn't even in highschool. I used to doodle small animations, in ASCII, for the Windows command line. Notepad was the tool I used to achieve this. Why? Because that's the first thing I encountered on my fresh install of Windows 95.

Notepad was my first ever real "code editor". Don't get me wrong, I've used it to edit text files and any other type of files that are supported but I mainly liked using it as a code editor.

Now, along the years I have come across a lot of code editors, some good and some not so good. But sometimes you encounter one that amazes you through it's simplicity and usefulness.

Imagine you have a stick. Now, you can tie a sharp pointy rock to that stick and use it as a spear or tie a string to it and use it as a bow, but in the end it's just a stick.

I'm not sure if you understood my analogy but what I'm trying to say is, the more simpler the base is, the more extensible it becomes.

Along comes Gedit

For those of you who aren't familiar with Gedit, this is the Wiki description:

gedit (/ˈdʒɛdɪt/ or /ˈɡɛdɪt/) is the default text editor of the GNOME desktop environment and part of the GNOME Core Applications. Designed as a general purpose text editor, gedit emphasizes simplicity and ease of use. It includes tools for editing source code and structured text such as markup languages.

Basically Gedit comes by default on some Linux based systems. We could say that it's the Notepad of Linux based systems, though this may be a bit far fetched.

I'm saying it's a bit far fetched because your can do whole range of great stuff with Gedit that with Notepad you just can't.

It all stars with a simple Terminal command.

sudo apt-get install gedit-plugins

Once you've installed those plugins, a whole world opens up. Your "stick" suddently has the ability to morph into anything.

For example, you now have access, based on the plugins plackage you just installed, to a whole range of tools. Tools like:

  • Bracket completion
  • Code comment
  • Color picker
  • Embeddded Terminal. By far my favorite one.
  • Modelines - Emacs, Vim-style modelines
  • Multi edit. Another very usefull one.

and a whole lot more.

Basically your simple text editor just transformed itself into a full fledged IDE. Of course it doesn't have all the capabilities of Sublime or Atom but for a beginner this is perfectly fine.

Did I mention it's blazing fast. In comparison to Sublime or Atom, Gedit load instantly almost anything.

Conclusion

In the end it doesn't really matter what you end up using, as long as it gets the job done. I'm not saying we should all ditch our current workflow and switch to Gedit, I am just trying to point out the fact that some simple tools can be transformed into great things, that can be useful and practical.

Until next time, code long and prosper!

Stefan