"One of the reasons users become so passionate about particular
editors is because of the frequency of their use. Unlike, say, an
MP3 player which you just flip on and leave to go, or an IRC chat
client which you may only use for half an hour each day, a text
editor will be constantly in use and must be designed to fit this.
Fancy features should be kept tucked away unless needed, and the
user should have instant access to common commands instead of
trawling through menus or tapping in endless key-combinations.
"Kernel hackers and other programmers often spend several hours
gazing at the screen, and the appearance has to respect this.
Flashing distractions or pointless effects would be roaringly
annoying in this respect - the program itself should become
transparent, and let the user focus on the main matter in hand: the
"Other features that would are hugely valuable to programmers
include code formatting and syntax highlighting, which enhances the
text's structural appearance and stops it all melting together into
a meaningless mess after 16 hours of fine-tuning an algorithm.
"In a similar vein, the portability of a text editor is
significant too. If you work on a number of platforms other than
Linux, like Windows and the BSD variants, you'll want your
favourite editor to be available in some form or another to free
yourself of another potential learning process and make switching
around considerably easier."