Text Editors for Robotics

Vim is fast and highly customizable

So much choice

I have tested many different text editors to find the one and only one editor that I wanted to use for all my work. Of course, I considered the default GNOME editor gedit and the KDE counterpart Kate. Then I also looked at the terminal based editors like nano, Vim and Emacs and the more shiny ones such as Sublime, Visual Studio Code and Atom from Github. There are also some more specialized ones such as PyCharm which focuses on Python programmers. So what is my final impression of those?

Nano is often already preinstalled

Why limit yourself to only one editor?

Each type of text editor has its pros and cons and each program is made for its own set of purposes. Terminal based editors are meant to run in a terminal emulator which allows for easy use through remote access. The lightweight and simple text editors allow for easy editing files but they do not provide the same functionality as their overpowered competitors. The most advanced text editors provide many bonus features, but they tend to be resource hungry.


In the end, there is no “best” editor for everyone and in my case not even a “best” editor for all my tasks. The important thing is that I get my job done and I choose the tools that I find the most suitable for that job. More important than the choice of the editor is that you get to know your editor(s) of choice and that you get to learn some of the nice features that allow you to use the full potential of the programs that you use. You might have different needs and therefore you use different tools. In robotics, the tasks are quite diverse which is why I prefer using different text editors in parallel.



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Dave's RoboShack

Dave's RoboShack

I am a master student specializing in robotics. I am a Linux enthusiast and I love helping people with my knowledge. I also have a website: davesroboshack.com