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Pavel Kovar
Pavel Kovar

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Neverending quest to find an ideal code editor

Every developer knows it. Everyone wants to have an editor which will all features for every situation (like a developer's swiss knife) and ideally does not take a huge amount of memory and CPU while you use it. And this is a neverending quest for me.

I recently reopen this problem in my mind, while I started work on one Kotlin (with Micronaut framework project. Right from the beginning, I refused to use Idea IntelliJ since in general, I'm not a big fan of full-featured IDEs even Idea have probably the best support for Kotlin language. Till now, I was quite happy with Visual Studio Code, but ...

By default, VS Code does now have support for Kotlin language (even for just syntax highlighting), so I did what I always do in VS Code, install a plugin. And here, a problem occurred. After a couple of minutes, I was surprised that my laptop started to be loud (Apple Macbook Pro with M1 and 8 GB RAM) and the response of the system was terrible. So I started investigating what is going on and from the Activity Monitor application, I found that VS Code gets almost 4 GB of RAM and no small amount of CPU. Honestly, I was angry with VS Code and started to look for alternatives. Nothing really convinced me, so after a couple of hours of browsing the web for "ideal editor", I came back to VS Code and look deeper into what is the problem with my setup.

Luckily, it was just the Kotlin plugin ( I found a way to check processes inside the VS Code and saw that the Kotlin plugin (which I installed just due to syntax highlighting) takes 2,5 GB of RAM. So I remove it and found another plugin ( that works fine. Also, I did a review of all plugins which I already installed and found that I do not need now almost any of them.

At the end of this part of my neverending quest, I am staying with VS Code for now. With an almost vanilla configuration and almost no plugins, it gives me all that I need for now. I am not saying it is the end of my search, but I can take a rest for now.

One more thing. I give a quick shot to Vim (NeoVim) with some plugins for Kotlin and folder tree, but I am lazy to learn to use Vim.

Anyway, if you have a good tip for a code editor which is light, yet powerful and ideally free of charge, let me know.

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