Great write up! Really enjoyed the journal entries too.
I’ve had BBEdit installed forever but haven’t used it much. This post also makes me want to try out Nova (just installed it) though I’ve built up a lot of muscle memory with Vim after so many years. Looks like Nova has support for Vim keybindings, though there aren’t a lot of options for customization.
I have the fortunate situation of knowing enough Vim to be useful and never having made it my primary editor. Modal editing always seems like a good thing… for which I am unwilling to throw away everything else I like about a good text editor. 😂
Having built up such a reliance on Vim to be productive I do agree that I have thrown away a few good tools because they don’t have modal editing. Something I quite like (and half tried with intellij which I am forced to use sometimes) is building in Emacs style modal editing which is essentially just loads of custom hotkeys bound under Ctrl or Alt (or both). Keen to give that a shot again with Nova.
One of the things I continue to love about macOS in general and well-behaved Mac apps specifically is that CoreText has native support for a ton of the Emacs text movement and manipulation key bindings. One reason both Chrome and especially Firefox do not “stick” well for me (there are many, but one) is that they mess that up! You can pry my ability to hit ⌃E to go to the end of a line from my cold dead hands!
😂 Very glad that things like ⌃E and ⌃A work well almost everywhere! (and especially in Google Docs)
Unfortunately Nova’s vim mode is extremely poor. I mostly ran into missing features. It seems to be a “there’s normal and insert mode and you can use hjkl” mode.
Thanks for writing this up so beautifully. I’m an old Mac user and user Nova daily, mostly for Playdate development. It has been very unstable/crash-prone recently, agreed. The major crasher that lost me much work was fixed in a recent update, so I no longer want to delete the app but I would still appreciate it if they could take their foot off the new features pedal and improve stability.
I also have the following installed BBEdit (for some advanced commands only it can do), Sublime Text (for quick opening and searching of directories of text).
My favourite and default text editor: CotEditor https://coteditor.com (for it’s unbelievable speed of launching, solid language/character-set support in particular Japanese; let down in only one way - it won’t open folders of files). Yes, it’s a native Mac app. Highly recommended!
Yeah, I am quite sympathetic to why the foot has been hard down on the pedal: there was an enormous amount of catching up to do, and the biggest competitor is (a) free to use and (b) extremely well-funded by one of the largest tech companies in the world… but also, my text editor needs to be rock solid.
For other readers who happen along, I will second the recommendation for Cot. It had fallen out of my day-to-day usage for uninteresting reasons, but it is a great very lightweight and very fast little editor!
Guys, there’s no need to have this exact conversation across 2 websites ;)
what the hell
Hmm. Looks like there might be some bots copying upvoted comments from here to the orange site to build up karma.
Probably should report them.
EDIT: I was too suspicious. My bad.
After posting there and finding it dead, Chris offered me an invite to discuss here where things are much more lively. But, yes, I did copy and paste my comment from there to here, to save time. If you check the timestamps you’ll be able to verify the order of events. I am definitely not a bot :) but top marks for vigilance!
My apologies. I am perhaps overprotective of lobste.rs; I’m still sad about how badly Slashdot fell.
VSCode is dog slow on my 16in Intel MBP. It’s a nasty combo of the Electron tax and an underspec’d integrated GPU. And I typically don’t notice this stuff in editors.
I’ll try both of these editors. Thanks for the reviews.
This has inspired me to have a crack at Nova. I understand the love of BBEdit some people have (I used to feel the same way about Ultraedit), but it’s not for me.
I totally get that, actually. It wasn’t for me for a long time—until it was! I have actually tried it and bounced off it at least as many times as I have tried and bounced off of Nova, maybe more. I think something changed about me in the past year: I tolerated (with some annoyances, but tolerated) Atom and VS Code for a very long time before I hit a point where I was sick of tolerating them. I have been actively embracing a lot of the specifics of macOS in a more robust way over the past year, though, and learning it more deeply, and I think that plus whatever changes from age did me in.
No multi-caret support is just a non-starter for me these days.
Yeah, that’s very fair. I miss it less than I expected to… but I do still miss it!
I’ve been using Nova since release and agree with your quibbles. Nova crashes on me on avg maybe 1.5 times a month. I’ve been considering switching back to Code or perhaps neovim but I just really like Nova.
One reason I flagged it up was in hopes that this might make it across the desk (so to speak) of the folks working on it and give a bit of a nudge to double down on “seriously, no crashes, ever!” See my reply to a sibling comment, too, though: I really do get why they’ve been focused on just shipping features, too, and that may well have been the right thing to prioritize: without their having done so, it is likely this experiment would have ended with me bouncing off again.