Let’s talk about text, baby.
I love typing and I do it a lot, so it’s important for me to have an efficient workflow and a pleasant experience with the text editors and IDEs that I use. I had been a Windows user up until I received my first big paycheck (right before my Senior year of college), which I immediately used to splurge on my first MacBook. This change in OS was a big deal only because it meant finding new alternatives to the Windows-only software I grew accustomed to.
New to the Mac, and still sour over my forced separation with Notepad++, I started following a bunch of Mac application review sites. One of them had this great review of Coda – a $99 one-window dream of an application that has since spoiled me with its incredible workflow and extension possibilities. I remember trying Coda’s month-long trial and I FELL. IN. LOVE. I still use it to this day, every day.
At work, I don’t have the privilege of just buying whatever software I want to use, so I’ve turned to using open source and freeware solutions. Web development is just one facet of my job, so it’s not like I end up using these applications for extended periods of time – unlike when I’m working at home (which I certainly still do). At this point, the applications are adequate, but they do not provide a workflow that’s anything like Coda or its rival applications. When it comes to text editors on the job, TextWrangler is what I use the most. It’s free, but not open source. The logo looks like a “W” made of spaghetti, so I guess that’s cool. Unfortunately, I get this feeling of being lost when I am working between editing in TextWrangler and uploading with a separate FTP client. It’s kind of like the feeling I get when I’m working in a coffee-house and do not have my second widescreen monitor with me. Or my Magic Mouse. It’s like I’m working with my hands tied behind my back. Oh well…
When it comes to IDEs, I find myself working almost exclusively with Eclipse. When I was learning Java in college, we were all using jGrasp since it was included in the textbook materials. I did a project with someone using NetBeans and it was a nightmare. They made the entire user interface using The NetBeans Swing GUI, and it was like working with code generated by saving a document as HTML in Microsoft Word. A bloody NIGHTMARE. Also, I’m weary of investing time into an application “sponsored by Oracle,” since I’d be unsure if it will continue to be updated in the future.
Since most of you are programmers, too, what IDEs and/or text editors do you use – and what languages are you working with on them?