Which Editors Do You Use, and Why?

With the announcement of Dreamweaver MX 2004, there has been a lot of talk about editors out there. Which editor(s) do you use, and why?

Me? Well, I use a few different editors. I use Dreamweaver sometimes as it’s the most feature rich editor I have at my disposal. I like the simplicity and speed of TextPad for some things when I’m using my Windows machine, which isn’t very often. And although I know it sounds strange, I probably use vim (VI Improved) more than anything. I’m the kind of person who likes to use one editor for everything, which makes vim perfect. Not only can I use it for all types of code, but I can use it everywhere, on any platform, even over an SSH connection, which is very important for me.

I’m guessing that vim is actually one of the least popular editors out there for ColdFusion and Java development, so what else are people using? Dreamweaver? TextPad? EditPlus? ColdFusion Studio? Homesite? jEdit? Eclipse? Emacs? Something I’ve never heard of? Make sure you mention what it is about your editor that you like.

38 Responses to Which Editors Do You Use, and Why?

  1. Stephen Adams says:

    I use JCreator for any Java I am doing, and Dreamweaver and HomeSite+ for my ColdFusion, ASP and .Net stuff.Dreamweaver has a lot of good features, I like the fact that you can use it for a variety of languages, but it is so slow at times> Drives me mad.I would like to be able to use JEdit for both my ColdFusion, ASP and Java work but I can never set it up correct. I can never get the Plugins to work.

  2. Jim Biancolo says:

    Codewright, mostly because I like its multi-file find/replace better than anything else I’ve tried. It has lots of great features though. So far I haven’t found anything I wish it did, but doesn’t.

  3. Editors

    In one of the Macromedia weblogs today, Christian Cantrell brings up the age-old question: which editor do you use, and why ? A little surprisingly (to me), he says that vim is the one he uses the most. For a…

  4. Adam Howitt says:

    I prefer homesite to Dreamweaver since I don’t have to deal with site settings to be able to find things or work on code. I am capable of doing some of the steps it tries to accomplish myself so it bugs me that the file window can’t just be switched to homesite mode for those accustomed to using it. A homesite skin would be a better compromise where, instead of selecting skins to rearrange panels you can switch to a homesite+ style configuration and menus but with the Dreamweaver extras (web services, datasource connectors etc) all hidden under a new menu option “DW”. Do that and you could satisfy 99% of the disgruntled CF developers.

  5. Todd says:

    Pre MX, I used CFStudio 5 religiously. When MX came out, I un-installed it to force myself to use DWMX. I tried it for four months, but found myself missing the ‘keyboard map to a snipplet’ feature and installed HS+ after hearing Raymond talk about it on a mailing list. I even wrote up a blog entry about getting HS+ to look like CFStudio 5 again (pretty easy). So, I use HS+ religiously now.For anything else non-cf related, I use textpad. I found opening large log files in CFStudio to be the wrong thing to do back in the day (when CF5Studio had a huge memory leak?). Textpad could open 10+ meg log files with no problems.

  6. paulH says:

    right now you’ll have to pry cf studio from my cold, dead hands. maybe homesite 5.5 will change that, homesite+ didn’t.

  7. Mark W. Breneman says:

    I use CF studio 97% of the time, DWMX 2% of the time and Ultraedit 1% of the time.I tried. I really did, to use DWMX but, on my old 733Mhz PC, design mode was too slow for me when I had code and design mode showing. I now have a new 2.6 GHz PC and I have DW installed, but have not taken time to set it up. It still annoys me that I can not EZly map snippets AND above all I can not use the ALT key for shortcuts.I use ultraedit for quick edit of text blocks, turning comma delimited list into columns of data and vice versa. And you gotta love column mode in untraedit.

  8. ErikG says:

    I’m the same as Todd. I used only CF Studio. After MX was released, and attending last year’s DevCon, I switched to DW, and uninstalled CF Studio to force myself to use it. I tried to stick with DW, but after two months I re-installed CF Studio 5, and I have no regrets.I heard somewhere that DW MX 2004 is supposed to be better for CF coders and that Macromedia “listened” to everyone’s suggestions (I sent in about 8 to a Macromedia guy I met at DevCon), so we’ll see.

  9. Fus says:

    HomeSite+ most of the time when working in CF, sometimes UltraEdit. I use UE other times when messing with text datafiles and such.Pico/nano on linux is handy for those ssh connections into the server.Matt

  10. Dreamweaver MX 6.1 (Mac OS X) was my editor of choice until I installed a recent build of Dreamweaver MX 2004… which is now my editor of choice!I tried CF Studio back in the day and couldn’t get used to it. I lived with jEdit for a while too (after moving to the Mac, before the DWMX 6.1 Updater came out).

  11. Tarantor says:

    % 60 Homesite+% 30 DWMX% 10 Others

  12. Ben Forta says:

    75% DW20% HomeSite5% CodeWrite(+/- 5-10% <g>)

  13. I. Silva says:

    I tried various ide’s but i never found a better ide for me than dreamweaver. i’ve tried cf studio – i even have it installed – but i use it about 0,001% of the time … for coldfusion, asp, php, jsp work i use dw 6.1, java work i use oracle jdeveloper and i use editplus for python work

  14. Lola Lee says:

    At work I use CFS, at home I use BBEdit. I tried, truly tried, to get used to Dreamweaver. But, it’s too busy, and takes up too much real estate space (I use a 15″ monitor and use an 800 setting (I think); I just can’t see very well at 1024 setting.

  15. I mostly use DWMX, but I jump out to TextPad every now and then for those really big CFSWITCHes-inside-CFTRYs that make DWMX crash.

  16. Samuel Neff says:

    I use Eclipse for Java and PrimalCode for ColdFusion and Flash. PrimalCode is a recent find. It’s basically on par with homesite for CF but is amazing for Flash–full code hints for built-in and custom classes in AS2 just like a real IDE.DWMX2004 is kewl ’cause it does some more code hinting for AS2, but it doesn’t do nearly enough–not all built-in classes and no custom classes. Maybe DWMX2006 will finally be a real coder’s IDE.

  17. I have Studio 5 but have really grown fond of HomeSite+. Dreamweaver is just to resource hungry and Fusebox development with it is too difficult.

  18. Andy says:

    Pre MX I used both Dreamweaver and CFStudio. When MX came out it wasn’t that much of a learning curve. I dropped CFStudio and have used MX exlusively since. It’s by no means perfect, but it gives a great dual environment whether doing design stuff or coding. There will always be things that could be done better, but there is no way I could live without MX now.

  19. Homesite+ 90%DWMX <5%Araxis Compare 5%

  20. Calvin says:

    DWMX 90%Homesite+ 10%

  21. Erki says:

    HomeSite+ for CF/PHP coding. TopStyle Pro for XHTML/CSS and SciTE for Python coding and all other text editing.I recommend SciTE (http://scintilla.org/SciTE.html) for lighter text editing tasks because it’s free, lightweight and has plenty of features. It also has a single file executable that you can keep on your “essential tools” floppy/USB memory stick for those emergency cases.

  22. Now that DWMX has come out I use it almost exclusively. I am not doing anything really complicated in ColdFusion and it handles everything I throw at it without a problem. I really like the site features. Although, if all i want to do is look at a single file, or a couple of files, I will use either Homesite 5 or jEdit.I love jEdit for the fact that I can use it on Linux, Windows, and Macs. It provides me with a single tool that I can use across all platforms. I use jEdit mostly for Ruby programming, shell programming in Linux, and looking at just a few none site related web files (html, asp, php, cfm).I am also evaluating Zend Studio for php development.

  23. seth t says:

    wee, i’m not the only one that uses textpad 🙂

  24. CFStudio 85%DWMX 10%Others 5%I use DWMX for all of my HTML only sites. I used to use DW, 1,2 and 3 religiously, but switched to cfstudio when i picked up coldfusion. I too forced myself to switch to DWMX, but after a few months couldn’t stand it. Slow (on my 1.6GHz, 512MB box), un-intuitive, and still moves my code around with all the rewrite checkboxes off, even when I never switch to the design editor.

  25. motobass says:

    I do CF, PHP, ASP, and HTML development in HomeSite+. That’s about 75% of what I do. I’ve been doing Java development for web projects in NetBeans, but the JSPs and HTML in HomeSite+. There I rely heavily on Ant to keep everything together. I am planning on using Dreamweaver when I start working on Mach II sites for the reported ease of working with cf components. I also use TopStyle Pro for HTML-only sites and for all my CSS needs. When on Linux, I’ve been experimenting with Quanta Plus, which has been going really well so far. I can hardly wait until the guy who took on CF tag and function support in Quanta has something to share.

  26. Nolan says:

    CF5 at my office for ColdFusion because that’s what they bought.at home I use HomeSite for site development, when I know I’ll be coding on a lot of pages at once.when I need an editor open NOW, I use UltraEdit. For those occaisions when I just need to tweak one file, and do so quickly – I don’t want to wait for HS+ or CF5 to load it’s gazillion DLLs or whatever it does behind the scenes.I go back and forth on my Java editor, depending on what else I have going on at the time – CF5, UltraEdit, and I used to use CodeWarrior a bit too, if I have that available.C++ is usually VisualC++ 6 (though I tweak the color and font settings radically), or SlickEdit when I have it around.

  27. Matt Haughey says:

    I use Homesite 5.2 for all development. I used Dreamweaver from version 1.0 to 3.0, but when I started moving to CF work in 1999, I migrated to CF Studio. When I got a job doing ASP work, I used Homesite full-time and never went back.When I got my new mac, I tried to use DWMX because I didn’t like BBEdit, but it was too slow and took up too much screen space. Now I have a hybrid desktop setup that shares both platforms and I stick to Homesite for all coding.I’m looking forward to buying Homesite 5.5 the first day it comes out.

  28. Rock says:

    I use BBEdit. I love it’s support for Perl Compatible Regular Expressions and its integration with Perl, Python, and Ruby to allow the writing of “filters” in these languages to process templates from within BBEdit. While the HTML syntax coloring, etc. works pretty well for CF code, a ColdFusion plugin for BBEdit would be wonderful.

  29. Bill Brown says:

    jEdit exclusivelyjEdit for ColdFusion users

  30. kagemusha says:

    I got sick of CFStudio and tried some alternatives for my CF needs. As we are moving to CFMX, I tried DWMX but it’s completely bloated and the CSS editing features are a joke (but fixed in DWMX 2004). jEdit is nice but the plugins don’t fit perfectly together. GoLive was my favorite until Adobe bloated it (but the CSS editor is second to none for its simplicity).Then I fall back in love with BBEdit. Simple user interface, tight integration with CVS, script recording, multi-file search with filters…One of the unsung features of BBEdit is the Glossary: Forget tag completion when you can just type a few letters, say ‘cfqu’, press Control-@, and get a list of your three favorite ‘<cfquery>’ snippets or auto-complete the text when there’s only one choice. A snippet can contain placeholders and you can move from one placeholder to another with the keyboard (I assigned the Control-Arrow keys). Ex:<cfquery name=”#•#” datasource=”#request.dsn#”>INSERT INTO#•#(#•#)VALUES(#•#)</cfquery>#•# are placeholders. Press Control-Left Arrow, type your text, and so on.I put all the CFMX documentation into DEVONthink, that way I just select the tag or function I need a definition for, I press Command-/ and I got all the documentation with automatic cross referencing (Command-/ works with any application supporting Services).I think that tight integration between editor, browser, server and knowledge management is really more important than the editor alone.

  31. kagemusha says:

    > #•# are placeholders. Press Control-Left Arrow, type your text, and so on.Oops, the key-combo is Control-Right Arrow to move to next placeholder and Control-Left Arrow to the previous one.

  32. Jille Floridor says:

    I use Eclipse for java, and Textpad for other coding. It’s an incredible simple, but neat editor..

  33. Vui Lo says:

    Textpad for all (including email draft).

  34. I use HomeSite for pretty much everything. I like it’s user interface and ease of use.

  35. I use jEdit exclusively. I love CFS/HomeSite, but it’s getting dated and I prefer not to use Windows. jEdit runs on Linux, Mac OSX, Windows and anything else that runs a JVM. It also allows me to extend its functionality well beyond the toolbar.

  36. Anderson Christopher says:

    I can’t understand why a person will take a year to write a novel when he can easily buy one for a few dollars.

  37. Scunthorpe says:

    Dreamweaver 4 for simple, quick to load sites.

  38. Yes i only will use textpad, it is for the uber old school coders, who code everything by hand..:)Although it is sad how few textpad resources there are anymore…