Research Shows: There is A Perfect Editor

Compiled by Bruce Ediger
Bruce Ediger's home page
"The comparison of widely varying text editors has only recently evolved beyond subjective preference and name-calling."
- Nathaniel S. Borenstein, 1985

The "My editor is better than your editor" argument easily comprises the longest-running continuous argument in computer programming. One can easily dismiss most of the common arguments on the topic, since the argument-makers appear ill-informed, no definitions of terms ever get offered or agreed-upon, hidden assumptions riddle the arguments and subjective preference carries more weight than experiment. Nevertheless, editor users bring up important points on ease-of-use, editing power, and what sort of interface an editor possesses. Despite endless discussion, poorly-formed concepts like "easy", "powerful", "consistent" "intuitive" and their opposites appear in most of the arguments. No two arguers agree on what the terms mean.

In order to form more perfect arguments, I present a first cut at a bibliography of real research that seems directed toward finding the perfect editor. I did not perform an exhaustive literature search, so please inform me of any missing citations. I'm missing electronically-retrievable forms for almost all of these papers.

Editor Implementation

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