When comparing Howl vs Textadept, the Slant community recommends Textadept for most people. In the question“What are the best programming text editors?” Textadept is ranked 14th while Howl is ranked 19th. 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 Keyboard driven
You don't need the mouse to use Howl. Everything can be accomplished with commands and shortcuts.
Pro Fast startup
It's extremely lightweight, making it start up pretty quickly.
Pro Easy to use
Howl is very intuitive and easy to use.
Pro Easy to extend
Plugins (bundles) can be written in Lua or MoonScript.
Pro UI Focused on editting
Non distracted icons, toolbars, pannels, extra spacing, etc.
Pro Language tooling
Has built-in functionality for completion, inline documentation and linting so IDE-like features can be added easily.
Pro Command line palette
Search for your commands in an easy way and see in the list which key-strokes are mapped to which commands
Pro Open source
Howl is an open source project and is actively developed on GitHub(howl-editor/howl). It has a MIT license.
Pro Works on OpenBSD
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.
It's available for Windows, Mac and Linux.
Has a built-in lua engine.
Con Lack of Lua examples
Although Howl can be extended in both Lua and MoonScript, almost all bundles are written in MoonScript. This means that it is a bit harder to find examples if you'd rather write your bundle in Lua. MoonScript can be compiled to Lua but the code won't be as clean and understandable as if it would've been written in Lua by hand.
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.