So I tried the upgrade from the standalone Zend Studio 5.5 to the Zend Studio 6.0 plug-in for Eclipse.
Eclipse is somewhat nice, but, like many open source projects, sadly flawed in some basic functionality.
One feature, in particular, has me livid.
It doesn’t have soft text wrap.
What does this mean?
Well, say you have a long line of code.
In any other IDE, which is to say, GOOD ones, you can turn soft text wrap on, which puts a virtual line feed at the edge of the window. Anyone who has used any text editor, from Word to Xcode, is familiar with this. It means when you are typing, when you hit the edge of the window, the cursor comes back to the beginning of the line, even though you didn’t hit return. When you resize the window, the text re-flows to wrap at the new window size.
However, apparently no one who wrote Eclipse could figure it out, despite the fact that EVERY OTHER FUCKING TEXT EDITOR IN EXISTENCE HAS IT!
It means that for code on a long line, you must constantly use the horizontal scroll bar. Which is extremely annoying to me. It may seem like nitpicking, but when you code for a living like I do, it’s important that the text editor you use for coding is comfortable and efficient and doesn’t waste your time with a lot of extra unnecessary clicking and scrolling.
Some people like scrolling horizontally, the people who wrote Eclipse LOVE IT, but for god’s sake, don’t force everyone to use your preferred settings! Any decent IDE would have a simple checkbox at least, to turn soft text wrap on or off.
So far the only thing I’ve found is a hack someone wrote which *sort of* enables soft text wrap in Eclipse. Except from what I read, it breaks some other things, and is buggy. And hasn’t been updated since it’s first alpha release in 2006.
I just read through the feature request on the Eclipse website, apparently people have been clamoring for soft text wrap for YEARS (starting around 2002), but the developers didn’t build the feature in at the beginning, and now can’t figure out how to add it. So their solution is to just ignore requests for it.
Choice excerpts of user comments from the feature request:
“I can’t personally think of any other text editor that does not support this. ”
“I don’t suppose it could be given priority over other features, as an
embarrassing design omission of a REALLY REALLY basic text editor feature?
I don’t mean to be obnoxious, but it feels to me like “putting doorknobs on the
doors will be hard to fit in because there’s so many doors, and we’re really
busy putting pool tables in the game room, and rotating shelves in the library,
and auto-darkening windows.” (Please take that in the humerous spirit it was
“I would say this problem is the most critical in eclipse text editor as I don’t
know ANYONE who does not want that.”
“It’s a pain to see Eclipse missing such basic features.”
“I think it doesn’t sound good for an all-round development tool
like Eclipse to miss a basic function like this one.”
“There is a real demand and lots of people are surprised that Eclipse
does not do such a simple thing.”
“Ok, so despite 78 votes for this bug (which probably makes it one of the top
voted for Eclipse bug, if not the first), this was not scheduled for 3.2, for
3.3 and now not for 3.4…”