As readers have figured out, I'm now a vim convert for editing my ASP, php, and any other html related files. I don't see how people survive without it. But that's not to say I've left all other text editors behind.

I still like HTML-Kit for quickly mocking up html pages and still use Netbeans for Java development, regardless of platform (short of Mac OS 9-, where it won't run). Of course, on Mac OS X, I still use BBEdit Lite for everyday text editing tasks. It still even runs all the plugins others have written for the commercial-level big-brother of BBEdit Lite, BBEdit, like a BBEdit specific version of HTML Tidy. Impressive indeed. (Note that you can get BBEdit for $40 off by "cross upgrading" from, you got it, BBEdit Lite, no less. $40 for free!)

But the text editor that impresses me most (after vim -- and probably every bit as much, just in a different way) is still UltraEdit. Not only do I envy this fellow whose shareware app has become his full-time job (make one thing and make it well), UltraEdit is a Grade-A application. I won't rant and rave about its ability to hex-edit, or its easy to navigate menus, or its built-in file compare utility, or even its ability to quickly print syntax highlighted files in another font than the one you use to view files... instead I'd like to mention one more little feature that I've just today accidently bumped into (and finally had time to notice, though it must have been doing it silently for years (?)).

If you've used Visual Basic 6.0's IDE, you're familiar with the fact it autocompletes your statements and handles (for better or for worse) capitalization of reserved words. I often cut out parts of code I need to modify and smack them into UltraEdit where I have more text modification tools, edit them, and then c&p back into VB6. I usually start by saving the VB file snippet out as "C:\temp.vbs" in UE to get VB6-esque syntax highlighting and start going to work.

Turns out UE automatically capitalizes VB's reserved words as well! If's, And's, While's and Wend's, even functions like CStr() have the respecitve character(s) shot up into uppercase without a second thought.

Now I'm not arguing that forced syntax by a text editor is the best solution or a feature for everyone, and I don't believe the people at UE are necessarily the ones I should be thanking; it's probably the vbs syntax file's author. But the fact that you *can* add something like this, combined with the fact that the vbs syntax file is on their site in plain view as a free download (perhaps comes installed by default as well?) is an impressive tweak that shows just how well UE's loose ends have been tracked down and tied.

If you're a mouse user (i.e., you're not a vi or emacs fan), you can't do any better on Windows that UltraEdit when it comes to editing text.

Free advert over.