When comparing ed vs Textadept, the Slant community recommends Textadept for most people. In the question“What are the best programming text editors?” Textadept is ranked 27th while ed is ranked 39th. The most important reason people chose Textadept is:
Both text and GUI versions behave mostly the same, just the way notepad users would expect it to. Like shift+arrows - select, Ctrl+c - copy, Ctrl+o - open a file.
Ranked in these QuestionsQuestion Ranking
Pro ed is the standard text editor
As the standard text editor,
ed is available on multiple systems.
Pro Consistent UI
ed has a consistent user interface and error reportage.
Pro Has both GUI and TUI
Both text and GUI versions behave mostly the same, just the way notepad users would expect it to.
Like shift+arrows - select, Ctrl+c - copy, Ctrl+o - open a file.
Pro Small and portable
Has very few dependencies, and very small footprint. Can be copied to a new system in a moment, unpacked and be at your service.
Has a built-in lua engine.
It's available for Windows, Mac and Linux.
There's absolutely no need for ed when you have sed and ex.
Con Not a lot of features
While extremely fast and simple, Ed is simply not for programming for a long time because it lacks a lot of important features. It should be used instead for quick edits.
Con Not a persistent UI
You can only view portions of a file through search or regular expression commands. You cannot scan or scroll through a file using the available screen real-estate.
It's not too dissimilar in use to command-line tools (such as grep and sed) for editing a file. In fact, both grep and sed are based on how interaction is performed with Ed.
Does not have an IRC channel or some kind of forum where a community of developers/plugin writers could evolve around. Has a mailing list which is said to be active but that does not feel that attractive.