The sad state of text editors on Windows

On a good day I spend anywhere from 8 to 12 hours writing code. Unfortunately, even though I've been doing this for ten years now, I have yet to find a text editor that satisfies all my needs.

I suspect TextMate would fulfill all my wildest fantasies, but I don't have a Mac. A few months ago I wrote about e, which is currently the closest thing to TextMate for Windows. Sadly, my infatuation with e is quickly wearing off; it gets slower, more bloated, and less stable with each release. Intype shows promise, but is missing some very important features and is apparently being developed by a team of hypothermic sloths with refactoritis.

My needs aren't complex, nor are they numerous:

  1. High performance, low resource usage

    During a typical debugging session, I have Firefox, IE7, Opera, Safari, and an IE6 VMWare image running in addition to my email client, IM client, several SSH terminals, and my text editor. Every last megabyte of RAM is precious, yet many text editors (especially recent builds of e) have no qualms about gobbling up a hundred megs or more and responding like a pregnant cow in a lake of molasses. You're a fucking text editor, not a goddamn video game. Learn how to manage memory efficiently.

  2. Good, customizable syntax highlighting

    Shareable color schemes in the form of editable files is a must. GUI dialogs that force me to open a color palette and choose each individual color for each individual language construct are an instant disqualifier, especially if I have to do this for every single language (I'm looking at you Aptana).

  3. Good anti-aliased font rendering

    This comes for free on Windows if you just let the OS render the damn fonts, but plenty of text editors still seem to get this wrong. I have to stare at these fonts all day, every day, so I need them crisp and readable, not pixelated or blurry. If I can't use my favorite font, that's an instant failing grade (suck it, jEdit).

  4. Some kind of outline- or symbol-based navigation

    I need to be able to jump to any class, method, CSS selector, etc. instantly, preferably with a hotkey and a few keystrokes. This is one thing that e does very, very well, but that no other Windows text editor can seem to get right. It does me no good if you display the outline in a lovely treeview with expandable nodes for each class and method but don't give me a keyboard shortcut. I'm not going to use the mouse. I refuse. Mouse equals fail.

  5. Stay the hell out of my way

    I don't want auto-indent, I don't want auto-formatting, I don't want auto-complete, I don't want auto-fucking-anything. I know what I'm doing and I want you to get out of my way and let me do it, because if you try to do it for me you'll only fuck it up.

At this point, I've pretty much given up all hope of finding a Windows text editor that does these five simple things and does them well. I've resigned myself to the fact that I'm either going to have to return to the dark and painful world of desktop application programming and write my own damn text editor or I'm going to have to bite the bullet, get a Mac, and use TextMate.

Since I don't have the time or the desire to write my own text editor, it's looking like I'll probably end up throwing money at the problem. Sigh.