Editors, editors, everywhere and not a lot of links

Edit: I’ve updated the list of editors below after some good leads in the comments.

So… I’ve been pottering around the web looking for a decent development environment to free me from the shackles of Notepad, which I’ve been using without fail since about 1999. Yes, it’s tragic. I was looking for a tool to help me with client-side dev: javascript, css, html. That’s it.

I figured that with the general glut of software for pc’s, I was going to have no trouble finding a good piece of software for Windows and that my mac would prove to be a much tougher nut to crack. How wrong one can be…

WHAT’S GOING ON??

Finding mac software turned out to be a breeze, as a Google search for “mac webdev tools” hits on two rather good editors – Coda (as recommended to me by Jeremy) and TextMate (which I’ve been evaluating). In addition, there is the quality Aptana – FREE – this is my current favourite, although it is a bit buggy and takes a while to load (it’s based on Eclipse). The pretty comprehensive code completion and syntax checking is great.

The same simplicity doesn’t hold for Windows. I reckon Microsoft is buggering it up for the lot of us by dominating the developer market with the Visual Studio range, because I have found it really tricky to locate an editor that will run on Windows and deal with my client-side webdev in a way that is useful to me (understanding syntax is pretty important).

In lieu of a rant, instead I present the fruits, for what they are, of my search. I will be taking a look at these shortly. I have to say that the Microsoft product actually looks interesting, because it appears not to overload you with a million features for java, php, aspx and all the other stuff I don’t care about right now.

Microsoft Visual Web Developer – FREE – focusses on creating web pages without needing to code, but gives you a solid environment for editing the source and maintains a focus on client-side tech.
Antechinus JavaScript Editor – free eval, $49.95 – an editor totally focussed on making your javascript coding experience easier, includes a lot of libraries and scripts
Notepad++ – FREE (GPL) – very popular editor which appears to give a great coding experience (incidentally, supports about a billion languages)
Aptana – FREE – this is my current favourite, although it is a bit buggy and takes a while to load (it’s based on Eclipse). The pretty comprehensive code completion and syntax checking is great.

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6 Comments

  1. Posted July 5, 2007 at 7:57 pm | Permalink

    Hey there J,

    You should have a gander at Aptant (www.aptana.com). Excellent js-centric, FREE, tool :-)

    -Peace

  2. Posted July 5, 2007 at 7:58 pm | Permalink

    …that’s “Aptana”, not with a t, lol.

  3. Posted July 5, 2007 at 8:03 pm | Permalink

    Sorry, one more comment… I completely agree with your evaluation of MS’s VWD Express. I use it extensively. It also is about the best way to get a comprehensive js debugger for IE (see my comments in this Ruby on Rails-spinoffs list thread: here)

  4. Tim Christopher
    Posted July 8, 2007 at 8:57 am | Permalink

    For html, js, css… I’d recommend taking a look at WeBuilder – it works well for me… Or for an improvement on Notepad go Google for Notepad2 and Textpad.

  5. Posted July 9, 2007 at 10:12 am | Permalink

    Thanks guys, I’ll try those!

  6. I wasn't at your Perc%nto presentation
    Posted September 14, 2007 at 7:58 am | Permalink

    Why is it all you guys are missing the vim/emacs discussion? vim on a mac is excellent (if you install latest release from fink/darwinports): you can edit your .vimrc file to use the cmd key (what’s with the lack of apple on the new kbs btw?) and you can even open gVim from the finder by writing a simple applescript


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