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Version 5 of Programmer's Text Editor jEdit Released with Support for Scala and Dart

by Kostis Kapelonis on Dec 27, 2012 |

jEdit is an advanced text editor for programmers. Recently  version 5 was released which includes the following user-visible features:

  • Keymappings for those used to Emacs, IntelliJ IDEA or Mac OS X
  • Localization initially supporting French, German, Russian, Czech and Japanese
  • Added Scala and Dart editing modes
  • Improved HTML5/CSS3 editing. HTML tags in JSP files are also supported.
  • Better UI support for Mac OS X
  • Several bug fixes for scrolling, wrap, undo, and folding

Here is a screenshot of jEdit 5: (click to enlarge)

jedit 5 screenshot

Alternative keymappings are useful to developers that are coming from other environments since they can use jEdit with familiar keyboard shortcuts. Whilst the IDEA keymappings are a helpful addition, it would be interesting if Eclipse and/or NetBeans support was also added. Users are free to customize existing keybindings or create their own configuration from scratch.

Originally the user interface of jEdit was offered only in English. The assumption was that programmers need to understand English for professional purposes so most of them would already be familiar with that language. There is even an old online poll from 2004 regarding language packs. That poll showed that most users are indifferent to a translated UI. Starting with this 5.x version however, there is now support for translations. Users are also encouraged to contribute to the translation process.

Here is a screenshot for the German translation: (click to enlarge)

jEdit 5 with German pack

jEdit has many options when it comes to syntax highlighting for really big files. These are:

  1. Full support for syntax highlighting (slow)
  2. Fast syntax highlighting for each individual line (the context of adjoining lines is not examined)
  3. No syntax highlighting at all

In version 5, jEdit will remember the user's choice regarding the selected setting for large files

Not all changes are user-visible. The full changelog for version 5.0.0 includes API updates, rendering improvements and file migrations.

jEdit is a lightweight text editor. It does not try to be a full IDE. There is however a big range of external plugins (installable directly from the core UI) that can add to the core, functionality that most programmers might expect from their environment such as support for version control systems, helper windows, tabs, colour schemes, integrated terminals etc.

For more information, visit the Wiki, SourceForge Project Page, and Development Page. Bugs and problems can be reported on the SourceForge issue tracker.

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What % of developers use such editor by Nurali Virani

I am using Eclipse for all the work I do on Java, JSP, HTML etc. I am not sure once have Eclipse kind of IDE why one use such a paid editor. On top, eclipse community provides plugins for variety of functionalities. Anyway, good to see the screen shot of jEdit.

Re: What % of developers use such editor by William H

Jedit is also a free tool.

Personally I always have a text editor running as well as an IDE when I'm coding. I find it very useful to dump out rendered HTML output, bits of SQL, notes and anything else I want to hold in an unstructured way whilst I'm working.

Re: What % of developers use such editor by Russell Leggett

Personally I always have a text editor running as well as an IDE when I'm coding. I find it very useful to dump out rendered HTML output, bits of SQL, notes and anything else I want to hold in an unstructured way whilst I'm working.


Definitely, same here. I've used jEdit a bit. As far as text editors go its pretty good. The fact that its Java can be nice for cross platform, but ultimately was the downfall for me because of memory use. I already have one memory hog - my IDE. For lightweight secondary stuff, I love TextWrangler. It can do some really nice multi-file search/replace too.

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