It has been months since I converted my work machine from Windows XP to Ubuntu Hardy. There is only one program I miss, the fabulous Leo text editor. Leo is not just a text editor. If it were only that I would have little use for Leo, since I already use Emacs, the one true text editor. Leo is an outlining editor for programmers, one designed specifically for working with tree structured text such as xml or html. Even better, with a bit of tinkering, Leo can hand off straight text editing to Emacs (or even Vim). Emacs in effect works as a plugin within Leo, giving the user the best of both worlds.

The sad truth is that Leo does run on linux, but it uses tcl/tk for its gui. With the versions of python and tcl/tk currently available on Ubuntu Hardy, Leo’s font rendering is so bad I can’t bear to use it. Leo looks great on Windows, bad on linux, and perhaps even worse on Mac. Strange.

I spent some time trying to track down a way to get antialiased fonts working for Leo on Ubuntu, but had no luck. I did find a thread that suggested installing tcl8.5 and compiling Python from source, but decided not to bother with it. Intrepid Ibex is supposed to be released end of next month, and Python 2.6 is also due for release in October. I can wait a bit longer. Another few months and I think there is a decent chance that Leo will provide antialiased fonts out of the box.