Take me home

Text is boring

Written by August Lilleaas, published February 27, 2014

There's a bunch of new text editors around. Recently, Github announced Atom which a lot of second guessing shitheads on the internet (myself included) has judged to oblivion for not being open source. Light table is now open source, so yay. It's an IDE, but IDEs are just text editors with a toolbar of icons that would make Word 98 proud, and some clever features for auto completion built in. But they're still just text editors.

I like the "editor" part. But "text" bores me.

Optional semi colons bores me.

Newline before brackets bores me.

80 column width restrictions bores me.

Optional curly brackets on if/else statements bores me.

Commas between items in arrays bores me.

Whether to use infix or prefix function notation bores me.

Tools that with red text in your terminal tells you how much of a fucking idiot you are for spending a whole 81 columns for a line - they bore me.

Whether to care about spaces after the end of the line bores me.

But data is awesome!

What I want in my tool chain is a data editor. Not another mind-numbingly boring text editor.

Data doesn't have formatting. Data doesn't have optional semi colons or commas between items in arrays. Data is just data. Data is what matters. Code is data. Data is code.

A data editor would let me edit the AST of the code, and then write the text to the files in whatever way the text formatting zealots wants me to. I couldn't care less if you want semi colons, so it would be lovely if my data editor could atomate all of that. I could even open a text file containing XML, and my data editor would display it as lisp, because that's what I like. Then I would edit the data, hit save, and my data edtor save sit as XML.

If I ever decide to write a GUI for my operating system, I know what the first app will be.

Questions or comments?

Feel free to contact me on Twitter, @augustl, or e-mail me at august@augustl.com.