When comparing ed vs Textastic, the Slant community recommends Textastic for most people. In the question“What are the best programming text editors?” Textastic is ranked 39th while ed is ranked 42nd.
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 iOS version available
Pro Supports 80 source code and markup languages
Textastic has support for several script and markup languages.
Pro Very fast
There's no need for hundreds of modules to be loaded on every start of Textastic. It's perfect for the fast editing of files.
Pro Supports online sync
Textastic can sync with iCloud documents.
Pro Code completion
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.
Con Mac only
Textastic is for Mac only.
Textastic is a proprietary software and needs a license which costs $7.99.