Things I have never written #1

Tuesday, 8 November 2005

Coding Mistakes

I broke my debian administration website yesterday. Predictably enough I’d woken up around 9AM and thought that it would be a good time to make significant refactering changes.

Tested them on my laptop, committed them to CVS, then updated the live site. Had a quick play to make sure nothing had obviously broken – but didn’t try to leave a comment on an article.

Went to sleep and woke up around 4pm to find 15 emails telling me things were broken. Most mails on the site in a single day!

Should be fixed now. But I’ll never again make changes before lunchtime, I’m just not good with the whole sleepy-coding thing.

Things I have never coded: 1

Inspired by Joey Hess’s “Ten years of free software”. Things I have never coded part 1.

I have never coded a text editor.

shock

In the past I have written simple wrappers around the various text controls in different environments – for example under Windows I once coded a tabbed text editor called MyNotepad, which featured a novel dockable tree-control to the side which allowed navigation and loading of files easily.

When I first started working with Java I coded a similar thing, but with the ability to load external Java .class files as plugins. This editor was called Rosetta, inspired by the band Rosetta Stone (who were in turn inspired by the actual Rosetta stone )

At times I think about text editors. I use them daily, obviously, and I love working with some more than others.

My editor is usually GNU Emacs but I’m also partial to Vim. I will use both happily; although neither is pleasant without my personal customizations.

Simple text editors are a traditional project for coders, and freshmeat is littered with their discared corpses. Probably the only reason I’ve not started – that and apathy.

My ideal editor would be:

  • Both curses and x11 based.
  • Scriptable (Lua is love?)
  • Extensible.
  • Portable between (at least) GNU/Linux and Solaris.
  • Modeless.

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