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poll featured 68 (!) choices for users to vote on, and 148 users let us know about their favorite text/hex editors this year. To start things off, let's be sure we're all clear what the definitions of these tools are.
We asked Wikipedia, and the following is what it had to say:
Wikipedia definition of a Text Editor - is that it's a software application used for editing plain text. It is distinguished from a word processor in that it does not manage document formatting or other features commonly used in desktop publishing.
Text editors are often provided with operating systems or software development packages, and can be used to change configuration files and programming language source code.
Wikipedia deifinition of Hex Editor - (or a binary file editor or byte editor) is it's a type of computer program that allows a user to manipulate binary (normally non-plain text) computer files. Hex editors that were designed to edit sector data from floppy or hard disks were sometimes called sector editors.
Using a hex editor a user can see or edit the raw and exact contents of a file as opposed to the interpretation of the same content that other, higher level application software may associate with the file format.
This year's poll ended with a surprise. For the first time ever..IDM Computer Solutions' UltraEdit-32 came out on top as the most popular text/hex (it does both, like many other editors featured in the poll) editor among the DSLR Software crowd. Last year's winner, Notepad, came in a close second this time around. Much like last year's poll, the 2006 text/hex editor poll revealed what seems to be a general pattern among DSLR users: most of them simply don't need and hence don't use extraordinarily powerful, feature-laden, super-well performing editors. Many are perfectly happy with good, plain old Notepad, which has been and still is included with every copy of Windows. Despite this "trend", UltraEdit-32 unmistakably earned itself the top spot as the most popular tool in this category in 2006. Does this mean we here at DSLR are kicking our average "techiness" level up a notch? Maybe, maybe not, but the discussion is not one worth having, for only the Oracle really knows the truth.
It is worth noting that, given the sheer number of poll choices this year, the individual vote totals per tool, (in their role as the deciding factor in the final ranking of the tools included in the poll), were not as indicative as in previous polls in this category. After all, UltraEdit-32 set itself ahead of the rest with, when taken out of context, a rather small total number of votes: 26. Please keep this in mind.
Another surprising fact coming from this poll is that each and every single tool/choice in the poll got votes. In fact, not one poll choice received less than two votes, indicating that the pool of voters is an incredibly diverse bunch when it comes to the use of text/hex editors. Would you have guessed it? A combined 148 people voted a total of 295 times in this multiple-choice poll, only to show us that even a group of 148 people can be as diverse and varied as to use up to 68 (that's sixty eight!) unique text and hex editors.
Ranked third is the popular (and free, unlike UltraEdit-32) Editpad. If you prefer not to spend any money in your quest to find the perfect text/hex editor for yourself, it appears the DSLR crowd wouldn't hesitate to recommend Editpad.
For the sake of completion and in order of votes received (most to least), here is the complete list of editors included in this year's poll:
• EditPad Lite/Pro
• Hex Workshop
• Resource Hacker
• Crimson Editor
• BDV Notepad
• Boxer Text Editor
• Cute Editor
• GNU Emacs
• GridinSoft Notepad
• JOE (Joe's Own Editor)
• Professional Notepad
• Programmer's Notepad
• TED Notepad
• Text Edit
• Multi Edit
The above was composed, it should be noted, in UltraEdit-32 :).