I though his e-mail made for interesting reading, so with his permission I have reproduced the e-mail below:
These are just my perceptions at the time of writing. I'd love to be proven wrong....
I'm picky about editors. I find so many I almost like. I'll tell you about my other almost favorite editors:
- ++ Big user base, robust and fast, does virtual line wrapping (i.e. wrap long lines to display, but keep internally as one long line) making it easier to edit Wiki's, etc.
- ++ ctags, function browser & list
- ++ Upcoming UltraEdit Studio (now in Release Candidate 1) sports very nice class browser too
- ++ Winning many converts from last decade's favorites: SlickEdit, MultiEdit, etc.
- -- Doesn't do file types right. File types have their own syntax highlighting and folding, but not their own set of tools and macros
- -- Folding and function tips don't work well for Python (and other C-Unlike languages)
- -- Quirky RE's. Two styles of RE's. And the Perl-style RE's don't always act as expected.
- -- Macro language isn't a "real" language: you wouldn't want to do anything complex in it.
- -- Keyboard and other configuration files kept in binary format, so you can't print them out. BUT, if you want to modify syntax highlighting, you HAVE TO edit a text file with the following limitations:
- somewhat cryptic syntax
- non-standard RE syntax for highlighting
- you have alphabetize keywords (why not have the program handle that!)
- you can only have 20 languages (not that many need more) and you have to manually number them in order. _Ugly!_
Zeus for Windows
- ++ Lean and fast
- ++ Per-Filetype association of tools
- ++ virtual line wrapping
- ++ The best RE engine I've every seen (Jan G., the developer, really groks RE's. He sells another tool, RegexBuddy, that debugs RE's in multiple flavors)
- + Works on Linux too
- -- No macros
- -- No folding (though it's on their list of future features)
- -- No project tools (e.g. Build Project)
- -- no ctags, function list, class browser
What you've done with Zeus is incredible.
- +++ You made file types central to the design with unparalleled support for syntax, macro, and tool info to be associated _by type_.
- +++ You take macros seriously by delivering not just one _real_ language, but multiple. What a great idea!
- +++ Your key binding possibilities are exhaustive
- +++ Truly excellent multi-language support: syntax highlighting, folding, function tips, ctags, the beautiful class browser etc. _just plain works!_
- +++ The important configuration files are human readable or exportable and importable to a format that is.
- +++ Zeus groks projects
- +++ All of this to say, you've factored the design correctly from the start. That's hard to do, but beautiful when you get it right.
- +++ All of these things add up to a text editor that I can truly hope to use on whatever language gets thrown at me, and there are many.
- -- The documentation is sparse in areas.
- - If I want to edit long lines, I tool out to EditPadPro. My work group uses a Wiki that demands paragraphs be one long line. I can live with this, though wish I didn't, but redoing line display code would likely be insanely hard, and I want you to stay sane.