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Why make a new text editor?

During development of Iron we’ve heard this question a lot – from family, friends, engineers, business people…. even a couple of psychologists. At times we’ve asked it ourselves. There are a boatload of text editors available, to buy or to download for free. Why the hell are we making a new one?

In a time when our cellphones have graphical interfaces, computers have touchscreens and affordable VR is on the horizon, the IDE / editor market continues to offer only impersonal, flat, 2D tools.

We believe that most people write software from a place of inspired focus, and that this is especially true when considering really good software. Sure there are other motivations, deadlines to meet, demanding clients and bosses, and potential money to be made.

Still. Knocking out great code is an art, fueled by passion and creativity. Goes without saying technical chops are required, absolutely, yet programmers are not technicians. Far from it.

Nerdy stereotypes aside, good programmers are more akin to fiction writers, music composers and others who give form to ideas – creating something of value from unique and original thoughts.

Realization of ideas. No less than the basis of modern civilization. Heady stuff.

Special people, doing special things. Making a difference. Changing the world. Where, and under what circumstances, does all this special stuff happen? Must be a pretty special place.

What’s that you say? You sit staring at a flat, non-interactive editing tool for hours on end, in virtual and sometimes physical isolation? To break the monotony, perhaps you pull out your iPhone or tablet, which has waaay more graphics power and interactivity than your most important editing tool. The one you use for 8, 12, or 14 hours at a stretch to create your life’s work.

Think about that for a moment. You use a computer that has powerful graphics capability and a high definition monitor, and load up a tool that would look and feel right at home in a ‘90’s movie featuring some computer whiz-kid.

Not only do the current crop of editors look and feel dated, the work space is non-immersive with few options for personalization. Our goal is to help you, the programmer, escape the ordinary and offer a coding environment that research shows will contribute to your productivity and success.

For example, not many composers, painters or sci-fi writers work in cube farms. My guess is that these artists already know what Apple, Facebook and Google have discovered. That is, environment matters when it comes to inspired production. Just as it matters in the physical world, research clearly shows that virtual workspace, and in particular 3D workspace, has a substantial impact on increasing creative thinking. In addition to more creative ideas being generated in a productive 3D workspace, the quality of those ideas is better.

More and better ideas, simply by changing virtual workspace. Intriguing, yes?

That’s where Iron comes in. At DarkViking Software, we concluded it’s time to bring editing into the current decade. Our goal is creating the next generation text editor with the technical features you need for coding, housed within a fun 3D virtual workspace to help you find the inspiration to create your next masterpiece.