Zed is a rocket-powered skateboard
Zed is a new Rust-powered editor by the creator of Atom that focuses on speed but lacks a lot of features.
My experience: I downloaded Zed after hearing the creator talk about it on the Changelog podcast. And my first impression was that it just feels fast. Opening the application, navigating projects, and editing files are all zippy. The integrated terminal does the job without fanfare.
The numbers: Zed compares itself favorably to Sublime Text, VS Code, and CLion in three metrics on its homepage, but I found Sublime to have a significantly smaller install size:
- Sublime Text – 126MB
- Zed – 312MB
- VS Code – 526MB
Trade-offs: Zed is missing a lot of features that I expect from a modern editor.
- The editor is missing autocomplete, block moving shortcuts, and does silly things like matching quotation marks in comments.
- The search is missing find and replace, filtering by path or filetype, and collapsing/removing results.
As a result, my rate of development was noticeably slower in Zed than in VS Code.
Takeaway: Zed is a fast editor in the same vein as Sublime Text and is a good option for a lightweight second editor. But for modern front-end development, Zed lacks the features to be your daily driver.
There are a number of interesting collaboration features that I haven’t tested. I didn’t want to ask a coworker to download Zed when I knew the editor was lacking.
Zed has a solid foundation that may enable it to outpace other editors in the future – but it’s not there yet.