There are hundreds of editors available in the market, both free and paid, depending upon ones need. I mostly work on Ruby or ROR, Web2.0 stuff and I prefer to work fast, efficient and effective way and editor plays a very important role for every developer, so as system (OS) but its a different discussion as of now.
I’ll make my assumptions on the basis you like working either on MacOS X or linux (Ubuntu, fedora or any other flavour) and can dig yourself to get your things working like the way you want to work on your machine. Sorry, I don’t recommend Windows for development and I presume that you like to learn shortcuts and emphasize more upon your keyboard instead of mouse.
I started development during my college days on Vim or GEdit on Linux. Truly speaking VIM seemed flamboyant with its unmatched capabilities. I always wanted to work/handson/try Emacs there after, but still lazy enough to start exploring it.
After college, I started development on Mac OS X and got paid version of TextMate and as said its best for development for Ruby on Rails application. I was pretty happy and used to install some bundles from time to time to make it work the way I want to code fast and effective and started coding with as many shortcuts I can learn and remember. As a rescue I used Vim and always feel overwhelmed about Linux community and such a powerful and fast editor, which can’t be replaced by anything (with same regard for Emacs).
With time I worked more on Vim and TextMate and trying to point some of their key features which I liked and used the most.
Vim (all terminal based and though fast):
TextMate (a high-hyped editor):
Recently, I moved to Delhi and started working on Linux and to be frank its a hard transition to work without TextMate. Thanks to VIM again, it wasn’t a hard transition. Gedit is good but its like Notepad of windows and reasonably nothing is there. Than I started making it feature rich owing to the fact its always fast to load and can be my textmate on linux. Thanks to hundreds of plugins available and for such a vibrant community around and the research already done by other folks.
So lets talk about different plugins for Gedit to make it work fast, efficient, elegant and more like TextMate
Gedit (conventional and basic editor):
Here are hundreds of plugins available but choosing the right one is important.
How to install additional Gedit plugins
While Gedit ships with a set of default plugins, you can surely add as many as you like. To install a plugin for Gedit, you must first download it to a local folder and then extract the contents to ‘~/.gnome2/gedit/plugins/’ directory. Also look for a package named “gedit-plugins” in your distribution’s package manager, this package contains some additional plugins for gedit. Once you have installed the plugin you want, you need to enable it via Edit -> Preferences and then the Plugins Tab.
Colors and fonts:
Get all themes from here. But I prefer these two.
So, after go through of important features of all these editors. Its one like and dislike or any editor (other than these three). Vim is always the winner, as it comes with these features and the moment you do code review or sit on someone else computers, it takes no time to work on new machine. Vim is a must for any programmer (If I infer it right, it makes you think above conventional ways). On top of it, while working on a project and other than terminal TextMate (Mac) and Gedit (Linux) is no-doubt a better option.