redcar - my new favorite text editor

Oct 01, 2010

Redcar is a new, platform-independent, Ruby-based text editor that looks and feels like Textmate, but it’s open-source and free. It’s currently in alpha and there are some things that it cannot do at this time, but it’s pretty stable and I use it to quickly bring up projects, something IDEs typically cannot do quickly enough. Mind you, if you have already purchased Textmate, trying out Redcar might be stepping backwards. For users who does not own Textmate or e-texteditor (for Windows), Redcar might be a nice option.


The installation is pretty straight forward. You just install the redcar gem and run redcar install command. Afterwards, you run redcar. I’m sure there’s a better way to do this, but currently, I have the redcar process running on one Terminal tab and call redcar to open up different projects.

It supports Textmate Themes and Bundles

One great benefit to using Redcar is its ability to take advantage of the Textmate themes and bundles. So it basically can open any file and display proper syntax highlighting and commands. I’m also a big fan of the Sunburst theme and glad to see I do not need to create it for this editor.

It supports Plugins

Another great benefit is its extensibility. It allows the community to create plugins that other users can use. Here’s a nice list of plugins that people have written so far.

GiHub repo and Bug tracking

If you want to contribute, go to the GitHub repo and help out. You can also report bugs here.

Go play with it

Try it out! Especially for Windows users who only have options like e-texteditor or IntelliJ/RubyMine, Redcar is clean, minimal, and does not get in your way.