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What's the lightest weight mouse-based text editor on Linux? Something that doesn't use a big GUI framework. In other words, what is comparable to notepad.exe? (and don't say gedit, because that doesn't open nearly as fast; not for me anyway).

Somewhat related: a lot of people probably use google docs just because it syncs across devices. There should be a notepad.exe online equivalent that isn't ultra heavy like docs is. I personally don't have a huge need, so I'm more thinking about how to improve the lives of people who care very little about tech and have no problem using software from google.

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@sjanes I thought of that one, but I was hoping for free software if possible.

@sjb interesting, thanks for sharing. Not quite what I had in mind. I'm thinking especially of a self-hostable thing I could run for friends and family.

@philipwhite does vim with `:set mouse=a` count?

(I’m sorta serious, but I totally get if that’s not what you mean.)

I think nano supports the mouse (but it’s behind an option), which might be an actual answer here?

@zbanks hmmm, I haven't really tested vim from the perspective of a regular non-techy person. The trouble is that console programs depend on having a terminal to host them which adds some complexity unrelated to the text editing task. I think we can do better for nonterminal users.

@zbanks in my searching, I ran across github.com/rxi/lite . It's not quite what I'm looking for here, but it was the first time I've ever seen this program. It's looks as pretty as VS Code, Atom, etc. but it's not a browser. It opens faster than gedit, but it looks to have a lot more potential for customizability. I will be recommending this to VS Code users from now on.

I downloaded the source code on my Pinebook Pro, since there was no prebuilt binary for ARM. I've gotten used to most programs not compiling on ARM, but this compiled perfectly fine and very quickly, and I only had to install GCC. Unlike Vim and VS Code, you can configure it with a real programming language (lua).

@philipwhite Honestly most mouse-based text editors are going to require some big GUI framework. GTK or Qt mostly.

Oh! There is an editor that works with the mouse fairly well. But it is in the terminal. Called micro.

@josias I'm finding that to be true. The one exception is Lite (see sibling post) which uses SDL.

Micro looks a little too confusing for a notepad replacement, and doesn't seem to add enough value to be good for programmers, but perhaps I'm judging to quickly. It does start instantly, but requires a host terminal.

@philipwhite I don't really know what to suggest. I always use the terminal and use Vim for everything.

@josias that's okay. I appreciate your suggestion. Nothing is perfect, so the more the more options I know about, the better. Everyone responding has already showed me a few options I didn't know about, so this has overall been helpful.

I also use the terminal for most things, including my editor (I use kakoune), but in this case I'm thinking about non-technical people who are using low-power machines that don't have fast disk speeds. That's kind of a low bar, but in my experience notepad.exe meets it fairly well (one of the few excellent things Microsoft has made).

@philipwhite
What about mousepad? Don't know how much lighter it is than gedit however being the XFCE default I have hope

@wuwei it is definitely lighter weight, but it also depends on XFCE, so it loads more slowly on a cold start. Warm start is good though. I had tried that before, but for some reason I thought it was just rebranded gedit, but I guess it is its own thing.

@tfb wow, nice. This doesn't even have a big GUI framework linked to it. Kinda old and dilapidated looking, but if it gets the job done...

@philipwhite It's Motif, so it wasn't winning any beauty contests even in 1995, but it's solid, fast, and simple.

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