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One of the great things about some software packages is the immense amount of user interface and even behavioral customization one can perform on them. While not as desireable as a program that works exactly how you want it to out of the box, customization is really the only way to go when a more complex software package becomes sophisticated enough to be used for a variety of purposes. It is the only way to possibly please everyone.

I have been very impressed with the customization available in some programs recently. Just now, getting Microsoft Outlook to display messages exactly how I wanted them took a little bit of searching, but all of the customizations I wanted were available, and I am quite happy with their layout now.

Another program that has consistently impressed me with customize-ability is gVim, the graphical version of Vim for Windows. I really need to make an entire write-up on this one because I have been working at getting its layout more to my liking for several months now, making slow but very real progress. Since I use gVim extensively both at home and at work, I probably have some reconcilliation to do to make my editing experience more seamless. All that gVim needs, in my opinion, to be the perfect editor, is slightly better integration with the Windows Paradigm (ie, better knowledge of things like the user’s home directory), and real support for tabbed editing. However, even without these features, gVim is still so much better for me than the next best I’ve tried (Programmer’s Notepad and Notepad++) that it remains my preferred editor for almost all situations. Think macros, and no other editor stands a chance to Vim. And I’m certain that I’ve only scratched the surface.

Finally, the mother of all customizable music applications has been my preferred computer music player for at least a year now – FooBar2000. Check it out.

One Response to “Customization”

  1. nordsieck Says:

    Thanks for turning me on to gVim. I love vim in *nix, but there are a few programming tasks that I need to acomplish in windows. vim is so much better than any text editor out there (insert snide comment about emacs here) that I have had an exceedingly rough time doing any development in windows.

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