Last week I was celebrating the 20 years of my Harman Kardon SoundSticks, but last Monday there was another anniversary that some of us celebrated fondly: EditPlus 1.0, released March 20th, 1998, is 25 years old!

EditPlus, made by a programmer from South Korea, was the first editor where I wrote code for a living. In those days my job consisted of writing Active Server Pages with VBScript code. If you don’t know what VBScript or ASP look like, think PHP but with an even shittier programming language.

EditPlus was the best editor for ASP + VBScript, hands down. There was no other editor providing a better experience. And, yes, this was 1998, so a “good experience” was merely just good syntax highlighting. There was no debugger, there were no unit tests, it was a mess.

(A few years later somebody came up with ASPUnit, but the writing was on the wall: VBScript and ASP will be no more, with C# and ASP.NET replacing them.)

EditPlus provided very good syntax highlighting for those ASP pages, mixing HTML, CSS, client-side JavaScript, and server-side VBScript in the same file. It also had an integrated FTP client, which meant that one could edit files on our server (physically located in a datacenter somewhere in upstate New York) without needing a separate app (my FTP client of choice was WS_FTP LE).

To top it off, EditPlus used the Internet Explorer COM component and offered integrated previews of HTML code directly in the editor. Talk about features.

Over the years EditPlus gained lots of extensions, named “user files” by the creator of the application. I’m glad to see that more and more of those appeared, even last year! Suprisingly, though, there isn’t one for Rust, at least not yet. There is now support for Ruby on Rails, C#, Dark Mode, Emmet, Markdown, and so many other things that weren’t there in 1998.

As I said ASP and VBScript were a mess, but the combo worked; we were serving thousands of simultaneous users on a single CPU Pentium II server running Windows NT 4.0. And yes, the same server was running both SQL Server and the web server (IIS).

So here’s me wishing EditPlus, whose latest version 5.7 was released last January in 32 and 64 bits for both Intel and ARM Windows (!) a very happy birthday! Check out the list of features, watch some screenshots, and follow EditPlus on Mastodon.

Update, 2024-05-31: The Mastodon account of EditPlus is now @EditPlus@mastodon.social