Important note: This page states my biased opinion I have/had on the given dates. I can change my opinion any time, however is not required to keep this page updated. However it looks like the longer I think about it my opinion seems to get darker and darker on that matter.
free Ultraedit 17 alternatives
To sum it up: If you look for a powerful editor, have a look at geany.org The new unbearable activation of UE version 17 has driven me to look for free open source alternatives. And what I found not only replaces UE, it is a real improvement. And even better, all these programs are portable, so they run from USB stick, no install required. If I cannot convince you, perhaps Truecrypt can. Activation of Ultraedit 17 is incompatible with plausible deniability of Truecrypt's Hidden Operating System feature. In other words: Ultraedit now is a threat for your security, my advice is to stop using it.
- free Ultraedit 17 alternatives
- It takes away the freedom from rightful owners like me as it now is a threat to my personal security. (Living in a free country allows me to protect my privacy, Ultraedit tries to take this away.)
- No software whatsoever is allowed to phone home. There is no exception for this. This is a golden rule for over 10 years at my side and I will never change that. Not even for Microsoft and even less for IDM.
- I cannot use readonly media anymore to provide all the data necessary to install UltraEdit.
- So I am no more able to prepare everything, take it with me and install Ultraedit when I need it.
- For example I can no more install Ultraedit into a Truecrypt Hidden Operating System as UE17 now reveals the fact of the hidden OS to IDM. (Rather than re-installing the hidden OS from scratch each time UE updates the better choice is to throw away UE.)
- UltraEdit 17 is no more an editor I can rely on because it took my freedom away.
- If anybody would have told me 10 years back, that UltraEdit ever would introduce Internet activation, I would have abstained buying it, nor buying update service ever!
- First, there is a password field where you cannot see what you type in. WTF? Imagine Microsoft letting enter you the license key in such a field. But those UltraEdit folks even can make it worse:
- When you type in something wrong there is no response whatsoever. You do not get the message "wrong password". No, you either get some cryptic error message or no message at all. Puzzled? Go figure!
If you think that's all, no, there is more to it. I am pretty sure that I am not able to install UltraEdit into my Windows VM ever again because I am pretty sure that IDM has chosen an algorithm which is incompatible with my setup. This is not my fault. I use such VMd for years now, without problem. I installed Ultraedit in it, without problem. However now this will fail, due to IDM. (Well, yes, it is an academic case. But it explains that there is a huge difference between the old and the new way of entering the license.) It is not my fault for having a VM set up a way which now is "not IDM compliant". It is IDM's fault to suddenly change the way it works such that their product becomes unusable in certain cases!And no, I will not do what perhaps other people do: Use a crack. I do not like cracks. I do not trust cracks. I never trusted sources of that type. That's why I have bought many software just to test it out and then never really used it. Unlike UE which I really used over years.
What IDM does is plainly wrongPerhaps IDM can continue to live with what they are doing. However I doubt that they will survive on the long term this way. Here is why: Until Ultraedit 16 I recommended UltraEdit to others. This will now change. The important fact is: I recommended UltraEdit even to people who used a free open source editor, because UltraEdit was supporting it's customers. This now has changed drastically. What IDM did is the opposite of support. It is not only an annoyance which is understandable because IDM wants to protect against fraud or whatever. This now is an insult to each paying customer. I cannot recommend such a piece of software to anybody, not even to my enemies ;) What I now will do is to find a good free open source replacement for UltraEdit. And more importantly, if I see somebody still using UltraEdit I will ask him if he does not rather want to start using some more mature software, because IDM now starts to behave (what I call) foolish. And - that's the point - I am sure I am not alone. Many others will do it like me, as they do not want to be considered an asshole because of recommending such a thing with such a horrible activation strategy. I only say like it is. I live in Bavaria, and when somebody would recommend to me UE17 today, the normal thinking about this person will go like: "Was für ein Arsch!" (Translates roughly to: What an asshole!) That's quite normal for Bavarians to say this, it's often not even seen as insult ;) So I really think IDM dries out their user base with this. This will make go sales down much more than they can gain by fighting piracy (or whatever). Because you do not need to pirate UE anymore, as there are better alternatives free to download! So why bother finding a crack when everything you want comes completely free and is much more flexible and powerful?
Also I think IDM is violating lawThe European/German law says, that you are not allowed to change a contract after it was concluded. IDM did this now. According to German law by changing the activation strategy the contract now is broken by IDM, as it was never my will to see an activation like this. I bought lifetime update and IDM voided it now. So what IDM did simply is illegal. For me IDM now is what I call criminal. I do not like criminals and I will never support them. Therefor I urge all others to abstain from IDM until they are doing a reasonable business again! Please note that I have lost trust in IDM so starting with UE17 I will never use their products again. It is not important if IDM thinks their law is American. The law which applies is the law on the side of the customer. For me that's the German BGB. I think what IDM does is breaking the law (commonly called illegal) and it is my good right to tell publicly what I think about IDM and UE.
Note that what I write is covered by free speech. I tell what I think and how I see things. I tell the truth about my opinion. If you have another opinion, that's your right, too. But nobody has the right to tell me to shut up.
Recommended replacementsHere are good (or even better) replacements for UltraEdit. "(portable)" means, it either is portable or there is an USB stick portable version available, see portableapps.com
- Hex mode: mh-nexus.de/de/hxd/ (portable) all you need, and more, like checksum calculation. It also can compare two binary files.
- Column mode: Notepad++ (portable) use ALT+SHIFT+Cursor, no need to switch modes
- Column mode and more: www.geany.org/ (portable) seems to have some features Notepad++ is missing, also it has correct TAB handling
- SSH: Putty (portable)
- SSH file edit: WinSCP (portable) or Notepad++
- File compare: Winmerge (portable)
- Project files: Eclipse (UltraEdit project files are far too limited for my taste)
- xdelta.org/ is a binary commandline binary file compare which can perhaps be helpful
- Note that all those tools are covered by Secunia PSI, so it's more than easy to always keep them updated.
Some notes to missing features:
- UltraEdit has a mode where it minimizes to the tray. Sadly the way UE does it renders this feature unusable anyway, as the tray icon goes away (WTF?) when you open UE again. Read: Tray applications must not remove their icon from tray, ever.
- The other tools I checked have the same bug (I am really puzzled why)! However as they are open source there is a chance that I can fix that myself.
- UE also has serious problems when it comes to file handling, like using UE from 7zip to view a file. 7zip usually waits for the program to exit, but UE immediately exits and sends the file to the running UE instance. This bug can be fixed by allowing UE to run more than one instance. However this is even more annoying, as then you have thousands of open UE instances and loose much of the comfort.
- All the other tools out there have the same bug, too. I really do not get it, as it would be so easy to handle properly, so have only one instance to edit but keep a dummy application open until the edit finished. Again, with Open Source I have the chance to fix it myself!
I have no problem with Updates costing money. So I buy Windows from time to time, first it was 98, then 2000, then XP, then Vista and now Win7. However this was possible because I was able to update! When XP introduced activation I was very sceptical. But having used the 00800 number several times now I found out that there is not much of a problem. It's inconvenient, but even less inconvenient than IDM needing a new activation key each year! However IDM now makes it impossible for me to follow this procedure. I will not do this each year, for sure. If Microsoft ever would introduce such a yearly reactivation, I will immediately drop Windows, that's sure. But there is some difference. I do trust Microsoft. I do trust them because it is illogical to not trust them - they are the OS manufacturer. IDM is no OS manufacturer. So I will never trust IDM as much as Microsoft. So while I trust Microsoft that they do not gain privacy information (it was confirmed several times that this really is the case) with their activation, I cannot have the same trust in IDM. I simply do not know what they do. So I cannot follow any IDM procedure which is similar to the one of Microsoft. I will not follow it until I am convinced - before I do - that it complies to all laws, even the basic privacy laws here in Germany. To state it clearly, IDM failed to show how they allow to activate anonumously. This is a requirement. I can activate Windows anonymously by phone. How is the same requirement implemented by IDM? They fail to explain that. This is IDM's fault, not mine. But this, by far, is not enough. Even a powerful adversary who tapped my phone calls, Internet connection and mails still must not be able to get any idea, that I might be using a TrueCrypt Hidden Operating System. (I live in a free country where this is one of my basic rights.) So when I bought UE (with lifetime update service), being able to easily install UE anywhere was included in the package. For me this is a basic requirement. Now IDM suddenly took this away for no reason at all. IDM willingly became a threat to my basic rights and also broke the contract! Also note that I now lost complete trust in IDM. You may see this as my fault, but I really have a good reason to do.-Tino, 2011-03-27, updated 2011-03-29 for clarity, updated 2011-04-13 for TrueCrypt