Notepad++ is a free (as in “free speech” and also as in “free beer”) source code editor and Notepad replacement that supports several programming languages and natural languages. Running in the MS Windows environment, its use is governed by GPL License. Based on the powerful editing component, Scintilla, Notepad++ is written in C++ and uses pure Win32 API and STL which ensures a higher execution speed and smaller program size.
Why and how did you get started?
The company where I worked used JEXT (another open source code editor in Java) as the production tool. Due to its poor performance, I began an investigation to find another solution (in C++ instead of in Java) in September 2003. I found Scintilla and built a prototype. Unfortunately this solution was not accepted. I removed the specific part and continued to develop it in my leisure time. On the 25th November 2003 it was made available on SourceForge, and that was the birth of Notepad++.
Who is the software’s intended audience?
Developers/Programmers, IT teams, administrators and grand moms (indeed, I’ve got a feature request from a grandpa for his daily note).
What are a couple of notable examples of how people are using your software?
I have no notable example. At least, it’s one of the development tools in my current company 🙂
What are the system requirements for your software, and what do people need to know about getting it set up and running?
Windows 98/ME/2K/XP/Vista and Windows 7
What gave you an indication that your project was becoming successful?
The support and feature requests are increasing daily on the forums. Another indication is new third-party plugins are coming out steadily.
What has been your biggest surprise?
In Windows world, different from Linux’s and Macintosh’s one, there is limited community, but a lot of end users. So it doesn’t surprise me there are a lot of Notepad++ users, since it’s a good product. What surprised me is the appearance of Notepad++ community. This community formed in SourceForge then extended to outside SourceForge: the npp-community, by the end users, contributors to daily support, test, documentation, translation, plugin development and Notepad++ development.
What has been your biggest challenge?
Make Notepad++ KISS 🙂 By adding features little by little in Notepad++, Keeping It Simple and Stupid in its user interface is always one of most important guidelines in its development.
Why do you think your project has been so well received?
Surely because of the praise from a lot of users. But also we can take the complaints as a indication that project is well received — if there’s no user for a product there’ll be no complaint.
What advice would you give to a project that’s just starting out?
Love and passion 🙂 No kidding, for me they are two essential elements; to maintain an open source project and make it successful. Each creation of function or of class is a piece of art and they deserve your love. Love your source code and invest your passion to your project. Your reward will be more than you paid.
Where do you see your project going?
Make it more open and more extensible. The creation of the Notepad++ Wiki, called NpWiki++ and npp-community projects make contributing to the project more accessible. Further language templates make development of plugins more accessible. Currently many plugins are written in C/C++ and Delphi, but a template for .NET was just released, and we expect there’ll be many more C# and VB.NET plugins emerging from this. In order to benefit from the rich Java API, implementation of class loader is in progress. All this will make Notepad++ more open therefore more extensible.
What’s on your project wish list?
Perl Compatible Regular Expressions
Support opening file with huge length
A new icon (16×16 32×32 48×48 64×64).
A new design of web site on http://notepad-plus.sourceforge.net/
What are you most proud of?
To be part of the FOSS movement.
If you could change something about the project, what would it be?
How do you coordinate the project?
The communication between the contributors mainly pass via email or irc.
The regression test is not (yet) integrated in the Notepad++ official release procedure. The npp-community uses Goggle test framework for the regression test on the compile time.
How many hours a month do you and/or your team devote to the project?
About 100 hours per month (for me). I personally spend 3 hours per day during the week, 8-10 hours minimum on the weekend
What is your development environment like?
(Machines), operating system(s), compilers, debuggers, etc.)
Machine : Core duo 1.07 Ghz + 1 Gbyte of RAM
OS : Vista
Compiler : VS 2005
|Date||Version / Milestone|
|November, 2003||Version 1.0 released|
|July, 2004||Version 2.2 – User Language Define System; Translatable|
|July, 2005||Version 3.1 – Plugins System|
|November, 2007||Version 4.6 – Auto-Updater|
|October, 2008||Version 5.1 – Unicode-compliant|
|November, 2009||Version 5.6 – Codepages encoding and convertion|
|2010||Version 6.0 – Perl Compatible Regular Expressions|
How can others contribute?
Via Sourceforge patch tracker or bug/feature request tracker.
More projects of the month
Project name: Notepad++
Date founded: November, 2003
Project page: http://notepad-plus.sourceforge.net/
Occupation: Computer software engineer
Location: Paris, France
Education: DESS (Master of Advanced Studies) Logiciels Fondamentaux Ã l’UniversitÃ© Paris 7
Location: Vanves, France
Education:Leeds Uni, UK
Location: Berlin, Germany
Occupation: Local DIY store
Education:Master Computer Science at the University of Twente
Location: Enschede, Netherlands
Occupation:President, Pyrapat Inc., AI R & D
Occupation:Programmer (C, C++, Delphi, WinAPI) about 6-7 years
Education:Kiev Polytechnic University, magister of Electronics department
Location: Ukraine, Kiev
Why did you place the project on SourceForge.net?
Touched by the GNU philosophy, Notepad++ project was born under Gnu Public License, and Sourceforge was (and it still is) well known as one of the largest platforms to host open sources projects. So Notepad++ was placed on Sourceforge naturally in 2003.
How has SourceForge.net helped your project succeed?
Its reputation, its well done infrastructure and its very high quality support (in both irc channel and trackers).