Features I wish to see in a text editor/IDE

I have decided to create a small list (11 ideas so far) of features I wish to see in a text editor/IDE. It's actually meant for Lazarus, but it can go for every open source text editor out there just as well. 🙂

1. Ability to program new language highlight and expand existed highlight using external files (or scripting language).
At the moment, SynEdit (that Lazarus uses) only have the ability for hard coded support of languages and it's highlighters and we must have it more flexible. We can use Pascal script or even Lua for this, if we wish to have flexibility.
Also as part of it, we should have to be able to load the actual style from an external file.

vim split2. Support for source view split inline (not in new windows) like with VIM.
So we could do horizontal and vertical splitting on the view and have new view of the same buffer (file). It also good for diff and searches and more , however those that does not wish to have it, could configure it not to be active.

3. Source preview of the entire content near the scrollbar.
code previewI do not really want to see the source, only to be able to see a code pattern that I'm looking for and to be able to go for it using the scrollbar preview (clicking on it). The view must be very small and suited for the screen itself (like 4-5 points, but can be configured to have different size).

4. Error and warning indicator in a side bar.
Any error/warning that the codetools can figure out at the source should be marked on the side of the editor regardless of the caret location in the source (or the line view at that time), so by pressing on a red bar (for example) will take to that error, and by going over that bar (standing on it without pressing anything) it will be possible to see a text with the error (like with Eclipse actually -> that's where the idea came from). And also to mark the source tab with an appropriate icon to show us that there is a problem in that source file that the IDE could find.

5. Text edit line with the ability to have fast command like with VIM.editor cmd
It allow to search and replace using regex (for example) without opening the search and replace dialog, tell it where to go (jump to lines that is), highlight words, and the list of possibilities just goes on and on from the same text bar.

6. The ability to see nested files inline while distinguish in the view that it is nested content.
For example if there is an include file ({$i file.inc}) it's content will be viewable without opening a new tab with CTRL+Click.
Another good example is the ability to see source code of a specific function that is used  (if there is a wish to see it that is) without going to a different place in the UI. It's like the idea with the Object Inspector of nested components.

7. Inline documentation view.
The ability to open in the source code a view of the help of a specific function (for example) without opening a new window.
I do not like the way Eclipse or Delphi does it, and I prefer to stay at the same place if possible, it's easier to code that way imho.
Also the documentation could be placed above, bellow, to the right or to the left of the function, and only if I close it, it will be closed. and I can have many of this help sections open. and if I already opened it for a specific function, it can follow me to that function on a different location if I tell it to follow me (per inline view).

8. Tab grouping of source files (and also tab coloring as part of it).tab groupping
The ability to "say" this group of tabs belong to subject X, and other group belong to subject Y, and other tabs does not belong to any groups etc (Like with the Opera browser for example, but not the same)…

9. Inline spell checking for string and comments.
Including the ability to use several languages and not only English (for example).
At Linux for example there is an ability to use Xspell (that is ispell, aspell etc..), I do not know about other operating systems.

10. The ability to see the directory structure of the project.
The ability like with TextMate to see the project directory structure and do stuff from there such as creating new directories, create, copy and delete files etc..

11. Inline SCM information
The ability to see information from a SCM on a file or even a line that I'm editing if needed (including blames, diff, log, history etc..)

That's all for now (it does not look like much, but it's a lot of work), but I hope to see it implemented (after v1 will come out) and then Lazarus will be more then a great IDE 🙂

5 מחשבות על “Features I wish to see in a text editor/IDE

    1. ik_5 מאת

      It seems that the editor at the IDE already have some of this mostly in development versions. But kate lack a lot of features. I just wrote things that are missing for me in Lazarus (as I wrote above).

  1. TDDPirate

    One more feature I want from a text editor:
    When editing mixed BiDi files (such as English+Hebrew files), I want to be able to turn off and on the BiDi algorithm.
    I want to be able to see the text in 100% logical order AND in visual order.

    Such a feature is needed also by Hebrew speaking blind computer users.

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