Project of the Month, October 2010

By Community Team


jEdit is a programmer’s text editor written in Java. It can be configured as a rather powerful IDE through the use of its plugin architecture.

Why and how did you get started?

The jEdit project was originally started by Slava Pestov. The motivation was to create an open source, high quality, text editor for programmers. The project moved to SourceForge from the Giant Java Tree in early 2000.

Who is the software’s intended audience?

Everyone needing a decent text editor and especially developers.

What are a couple of notable examples of how people are using your software?

  • For developing jEdit
  • As an IDE for various languages
  • Partly embedded in other applications
  • As a reverse engineering tool
  • As a very powerful text editor
  • As portable application
  • As an excellent XML editor
  • As an editor for KML files for Google Earth

What are the system requirements for your software, and what do people need to know about getting it set up and running?

Java 1.5, preferably Sun’s. We provide several installers for several systems and even an own Debian repository, so installation usually is easy.

What gave you an indication that your project was becoming successful?

Increased volume on the mailing lists and the number of downloads.

What has been your biggest surprise?

How many of my ideas and feature requests have been put into reality by other members of the team.

What are some of your biggest challenges?

Explaining to people why jEdit is better than Eclipse, finding time to work on jEdit, and getting new versions released.

Why do you think your project has been so well received?

It is simply is the best text editor out there, that can be easily customized and extended to eternity and is cross-platform. It supports syntax highlighting of over 200 languages.

What advice would you give to a project that’s just starting out?

Just try to create something you yourself want to use and feel useful. Out of personal needs, the best products grow.

Where do you see your project going?

jEdit will likely remain the best open source, cross-platform, programmers editor.  There is a dedicated core of developers and a strong user base that continues to grow. 

What’s on your project wish list?

  • More spare time to work on it
  • Regular release schedule
  • Port jEdit to an OSGi framework
  • The ability to create plugins in languages other than Java

What are you most proud of?

Being a part of the jEdit team, how much better jEdit is now than it was even just a few years ago, having so many plugins, and always finding new developers interested in creating new ones.

If you could change something about the project, what would it be?

Reduce the number of bugs to zero, and change the way and time it takes to get a new version released.

How do you coordinate the project?

Project coordination is done almost exclusively through the mailing lists.

How many hours a month do you and/or your team devote to the project?

The core developers spend anywhere from 0 to 50 hours per month each, depending on outside activities and so on.

What is your development environment like?

The core developers use a variety of equipment and operating systems.  jEdit is cross-platform, after all.


Date Milestone
January 20 2007 jEdit 4.3pre9
July 15 2007 jEdit 4.3pre10
October 04 2007 jEdit 4.3pre11
December 08 2007 jEdit 4.3pre12
March 13 2008 jEdit 4.3pre13
April 27 2008 jEdit 4.3pre14
August 10 2008 jEdit 4.3pre15
November 19 2008 jEdit 4.3pre16
July 05 2009 jEdit 4.3pre17
November 07 2009 jEdit 4.3pre18
December 23 2009 jEdit 4.3
January 28 2010 jEdit 4.3.1
May 09 2010 jEdit 4.3.2
TBA jEdit 4.4pre1

How can others contribute?

By submitting patches to the Patches Tracker. If someone proves as active and submitting good stuff, he may get allowance to commit directly.
To sign up, just join the mailing lists. Working on any of the bugs is a good place to start.

Ten-year badge

This month and for the rest of 2010, we’re highlighting some of our most venerable projects. This month’s Project of the Month is one of about 1,000 that began hosting on in the site’s first year of existence, beginning in November 1999.

More projects of the month

Project name: jEdit

Date founded: January, 2007

Project page:

Project Leader


Björn “Vampire” Kautler

Occupation:Software Engineer (Java) / Several years of development experience since childhood, since 3 years also professional J2ME and J2EE

Education: Diplom-Wirtschaftsinformatiker (FH) in Business Information Systems

Location: Würzburg, Germany

Key Developers

Alan Ezust

Occupation:C++/Qt Consultant

Education: Education: M.Sc Computer Science

Location:Victoria BC

Matthieu Casanova

Occupation:Developer in a software editor

Education: Master degree at university Paris 6

Location:Paris, France

Eric Berry

Eric Berry

Occupation:Sr. Software Engineer, eHarmony Inc.

Education: BS Computer Science. California Polytechnic University, Pomona

Location:Pasadena, California, USA

Dale Anson

Dale Anson

Occupation:Manager, Acquity Group

Education: MS Mathematics

Location:Boise, Idaho, USA

Why did you place the project on

Slava moved the project from the Giant Java Tree to SourceForge because SourceForge is more scalable, better supported, and has better tools.

How has helped your project succeed?

Through good services and good support. Also through making jEdit more widely known just by hosting it.

What is the number one benefit of using

Free services, and its well organized and powerful infrastructure.

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