Emacs (Gnu Emacs or XEmacs. Read about the difference at xemacs.org) is a robust text editors (plus a whole lot more). One of the features that drive me crazy is the backup files it creates whenever text is editted (editting README.TXT will create README.TXT~ in the same directory). There is a lisp package called "autosave" that will put all the autosave/backup files in a separate directory so that you don't clutter your workspace.
This link contains settings for your .emacs (or custom.el) file that will properly configure autosave for GNU Emacs or XEmacs.
snarfed.org :: gnu emacs backup files