Hey guys! I'm very happy to see some folks writing text editors inspired by HH - at least they ALL will care about being fast! No Clojure around here, hehe!
I'll be watching Hale closely since, in a previous era, Martin Cohen wrote a very beautiful text editor, and some qualities of that product will probably be on Hale. And I really feel the same as he in his blog posts (see http://coh.io/post/128920102860/games-tools
(Disclaimer: I actually know nothing about making successful products...)
I said on Twitter that if I could write a text editor in the likes of Sublime/Hale, I'd explore different areas. I would just ignore the hard parts (proper syntax highlighting, code folding..) for now, and do stuff that the existing text editors don't do.
1. I'd add some of your beautiful Disposable game to Hale: gamification in the good sense. Visual feedback, motivation, retro/old-school looks. Try to bring some qualities from games to the editor... Make typing funnier. Vim brings a sense of achievement that people enjoy. Of course, being complex on purpose makes no sense, but making hard things possible... yes. Power to the users.
2. Vim is great when editing a single file, but isn't as effective for projects, even though they cloned Sublime/Textmate Ctrl-T in a plugin... sometimes, the magic breaks.
I'd like to try a new thing in this area: a project view that would actually be a really long buffer consisting of the project files in sequence, with beautiful separators with the filenames. The user could see and reorder the files in a minimap-style sidebar. This new view would make "replace in project" much simpler: you would replace in this big view - which IS the project. Maybe you could toggle between this and regular tab view (but remember that tabs have scalability issues - power Emacs users sometimes have hundreds of buffers open...)
3. Another thing about find & replace: a change this could be presented to the user as a set of changes - a diff - that the user might "accept all", or toggle some of the lines to apply. Also the user shouldn't be punished if he wants to undo or redo that operation.
4. Text-vs-icons: its probably my age, but I can't properly memorize the icons used for actions nowadays. Takes a huge toll on me brain. Again, I'm thinking about Sublime's Search & Replace box. Would be great if there was an option to replace these images with tiny text or abbreviations: "RE, CS, WW" is much easier to memorize than images for toggling "regular expressions, case sensitivity and whole word mode".
5. Fun gamish thing: a pane showing your typing speed vs time, maybe showing the "bursts of productivity". Some kind of "compressing" would be needed since we're mostly idle.
Ideally the users could write those things - like Emacs allows - but leaving the everything-is-text paradigm behind and being allowing one to do proper graphical stuff.
6. Easy building/running: bring some of that Turbo C qualities that Casey talks about into it. Make the edit-compile-run loop fast and fun, give visual feedback.
7. Different fonts for comments vs non-comment code. Just another nice thing some editors have.
8. Track changes: allow me to see previous versions easily (Braid plays with time!), but compress my several hundred "saves" in fewer revisions, by analyzing when and where the edits were made.
Sorry for being so random... I just really enjoy text editors and would love to improve Emacs on some axis. Would love to have a great playground for this ;)