Tough one, this week. I’ve been on leave for a couple of weeks, so there’s not a great deal I’ve been using.
Five minutes back at work and I’m now up to my neck in editing code. Which is nice! I like doing this! I also like having a decent editor on hand to help me with the tricky stuff. And, because I’m a poor IT manager with no budget for expensive tools (hah!), I like my editors to be free. Oh, and they’ve also got to work on both Windows and Linux. So, no pressure!
In the past, I’ve tried…
- Eclipse – Java-based, okay for working with PHP but very resource-hungry
- Aptana – better for web work but based on Eclipse so suffers from the same resource problems
- Dreamweaver – Lovely on Windows, sucks on Linux.
- n|vu – Spin-off from the old Netscape Composer. Nice for pure HTML but no use at all with php
- SCITE – My Windows text editor of choice
- Quanta+ – My Linux web editor of choice
Finally, though, I’ve settled on Komodo Edit.
It’s the streamlined version of Komodo IDE from ActiveState (those wonderful people who bring Perl to the world). Alright, so there’s no WYSIWYG editor but then I’ve got 2 monitors and always have the project-in-progress open on the second monitor. It has code hinting, variable completion, an excellent find and replace, good project management and the ability to hook up to my remote servers and edit files directly there. One thing it doesn’t do that it’s big brother does is work with versioning repositories like GIT and Subversion. No big loss for me, I’m a one-man coding operation. Here’s a comparison of what’s different between the two versions, see what’s added in the IDE version and see if you need to shell out the cash.
If you want to take your work with you, Komodo Edit can also be run from a pen drive as a Portable App. Granted, it’s a little slow to launch the first time it’s run on a given machine (we’re talking go-and-get-a-coffee-and-newspaper-to-do-the-fiendish-sudoku slow here) but it does mean you can have your projects and editor with you at all times.
It’s a very generalist editor, it works well with all manner of different code types, so it doesn’t have some of the bells and whistles many of the other editors possess. It doesn’t have the web toolkit integration of Dreamweaver, for example. If you’re wanting to work with jQuery, you’ll be doing it by hand. But that’s also one of its strengths – it’s not spoon-feeding you stuff you could do with learning, it’s helping you learn it in the first place.
Give it a try for a week and you’ll know whether you love it or hate it.
Over to you…
Other code editors are available. From Firefox plugins to full-blown integrated development environments to plain old Notepad. What do you use?