My search criteria is pretty basic:
- can be installed on a memory stick
- works with UNIX / DOS end-of-line
- supports syntax highlighting
- the ability to edit multiple files
- supports regular expression search
- requires less than 10MB disk space
After testing a number of free programmer's editors I discovered several which meet (or almost meet) the requirements:
ConTEXT is a free programmer's text editor. It boasts a number of useful features include the ability to export code to HTML.
(The thumbnail links to a 800×560px screenshot.)
Crimson is a source code editor to replace Windows Notepad. Unfortunately the default colour scheme for syntax highlighting doesn't really distinguish between text, delimiters and constants.
gedit is the text editor from the GNOME desktop enviroment and is also available for Windows. Unfortunately the standard package lacks regex search and it's a heavyweight, weighing in at 65MB+.
jEdit is a Java programmer's text editor and has an active community of developers. Hundreds of plugins are available to add a wide range of features. jEdit is another heavyweight, consuming 25MB+ of diskspace.
Notepad++ is a replacement for Windows Notepad. Features include code folding and support for numerous plugins developed by Notepad++'s active community.
Notepad2 is a replacement for Windows Notepad that only installs two files. It features a semi-transparent mode allowing users to keep an eye on other programs while editing full screen. Unfortunately Notepad2 can only edit one file at once.
Programmer's Notepad is a programmer's editor with features including code folding, exporting code to HTML and Python scripting. Programmer's Notepad has an active user community.
PSPad is a free programmer's editor. The font selector only shows fixed width fonts which is handy, but I'd like to have the option to use a proportional font. PSPad has a feature to export code to HTML. Requires just over 14MB of disk space.
SciTE is the demo for the free Scintilla code editing component (used by several editors listed here) and is available as a single file installation. Supports code folding and exporting code to HTML. Unfortunately changing the settings requires the user to poke around in SciTE's config files.
In the end I've settled for Programmer's Notepad. Which editor are you using and what features do you consider essential? :-)