Sometimes, you should be careful what you wish for. Developers often say that they want their coding environment to be as simple and clean as possible. They want the minimum of features, just a place to write their own lines without the interference of a smart program that thinks it knows code better than they do.
That’s what they say they want, until they get it. Smultron delivers exactly that stripped-down, basic coding service. Instead of packing the coding environment with features designed to put all the tools a developer might use within easy reach, Smultron throws away the tools and gives coders a sheet of paper.
You get auto-save, which is nice. Syntax colors are available for a huge number of code languages, regular expressions, commands, text snippets, and other elements. A Compare feature found in a Tools menu lets you bring up two open documents with changes marked and little symbols indicating whether a line has been added, deleted or changed. Viewing can be simplified by folding up text you don’t want to see. Another feature included in the program provides snippets of frequently-used text to be added with ease. Or at least relative ease, because code replacement is conducted by including a %%s in the text while a %%c will put the cursor after the snippet. It’s not intuitive. Even the close tag feature, a basic element to minimize errors in other text editors, only closes tags surrounded by < and >, and struggles to find the right tag to close.
While other text editors build in FTP tabs for easy uploading, Smultron settles for support for document storage in iCloud. There is at least a preview feature and users can choose whether to open the page in the program or choose a separate app. Smultron will also run commands and can insert the result into the text. But again, it’s not intuitive. You will need to include some unique codes to obtain the full path of the directory or the document or to replace the text with a path to a temporary file or to a writeable temporary directory.
The learning curve is short: there just aren’t enough additional commands to make the learning too onerous but Smultron does demand an effort from the user that might make them wonder whether it’s worth making.
Many developers will find those missing features and unusual commands more irritating than helpful. But at $10 from the Mac App Store or the same price in the Smultron store which also offers a cheaper upgrade and a more expensive site license, the program is very affordable.
Smultron is a budget text editor with the minimum of features. Even developers who want a simple environment may find its usability annoying however.
|Usability: 3 /10||Speed: 7 /10||Features: 2 /10||Support: 7 /10||Pricing : 8 /10|