03 January 2008
EditArea and CodePress are two text editors that are run in the browser. They're not WYSIWYG editors and the most important feature it really actually adds is syntax highlighting. First and foremost I think this is a solution to a problem that shouldn't exist: either you go full-on in emacs/vi/eclipse or you don't do any editing at all.
However, if there is a (client) need where you want to allow for source code editing in the browser, either CodePress or EditArea is probably the way.
I seem to remember a EditArea implementation for Zope which replaces the dumb
textarea tags in the ZMI for Python Scripts which was a neat idea but I quite quickly turned it off and went back to the plain vanilla solution. My beef with it was simple: speed. It takes almost more than 2 seconds to load it fully and the browser feels unresponsive for a quite a few seconds even after it's fully loaded. And unlike emacs/vi/eclipse, in a web browser the reason you're editing code is probably because you're jotting down a quick hack or editing a tiny detail. Neither activity means that you keep the editor open for a long time.
Some quick thoughts about the difference between
- CodePress doesn't seem to have Python highlighting
- CodePress has some sort of auto-completion which looks impressive (but probably isn't needed)
- EditArea has fullscreen mode which is awesome!
- EditArea has some sort of tabs which would be great for making it possible to edit all CSS files in a particular container.
- CodePress feels a lot faster than EditArea. EditArea makes my scrollbar stutter in Firefox.
- EditArea seems to have more language syntax lexicons but CodePress has SQL which I personally think is cool because you could write a database inspector for a RDBMS like myPhpAdmin.
- Both are LGPL which means they're both free and Open Source.
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