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In my quest to find the perfect text editor (for me), I've stumbled upon Scribes and I was quite impressed with its simplicity and features so I though it deserves a post on WebUpd8.

Scribes features:
  • Extensible via Python plugins
  • Remote editing (ftp, sftp, ssh, samba, webdav, webdavs)
  • Snippets! Watch the flash demo.
  • Automatic word completion
  • Automatic correction and replacement
  • Automatic pair character completion and smart insertion
  • Automatic indentation
  • Powerful text processing and manipulation functions
  • Bookmarks and smart navigation
  • Document Switcher
  • Syntax colors for over 30 languages
  • and much more

Unlike most text editors out there, Scribes doesn't have a toolbar or status bar by default. Instead there's a "trigger area" in the top right corner which you can hover to reveal the toolbar. This is also very simplistic and you can only use it to open some files, search, replace, configure Scribes (including selecting between more then 100 themes - these I'm not sure if are included in Scribes or it automatically imports the Gedit styles) and a few other basic operations. There are however some more options available via the right click menu.

The way Scribes handles multiple windows is unique. And a bit weird I should add: it doesn't have tabs and its author describes it as "a spatial and document-centric application". You can switch between your open documents by pressing F9 - this will trigger the document switcher which allows you to focus any open document. I must admit I don't exactly like this feature but I'll try to get used to it.

Scribes also supports remote editing: press Ctrl + L and then type the remote file address (e.g.: ftp://username@ftp.server.com/yoursite/style.css).

Another interesting feature is bookmarks support: press "Ctrl + d" to bookmark a line and then "Ctrl + b" to show the bookmark browser. To remove a bookmark, the same "Ctrl + d" keyboard shortcut is used.

So far I'm really enjoying Scribes and even though I miss the tabs, switching between documents is still easy and I guess this does make sense for a minimalistic text editor.

Besides the tabs, there's another downside which could easily be avoided if there was an option to turn it off (but I for one couldn't figure how to do this): autosave - sometimes I really don't want to save a file and Scribes doesn't seem to agree and it can end up really messing up your files. This is of course not a problem if you use BZR/GIT/SVN but I had to mention it.

Scribes keyboard shortcuts
(Scribes keyboard shortcuts - just press CTRL + H to trigger this pane)

Install Scribes in Ubuntu

While Scribes is available in the official Ubuntu repositories, the scribes developer says "the version of Scribes currently in Ubuntu is old and broken" so you should use the Scribes PPA instead.

Add the PPA and install Scribes in Ubuntu using the following commands:
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:mystilleef/scribes-daily
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install scribes

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