Code Editing

Code Editing

Your code editor of choice isn’t about what you think is the best out there, because that will change. It’s about what helps you get projects done effectively and efficiently. Just because it doesn’t have all the bells and whistles your co-worker’s editor has doesn’t mean it’s anyway inferior. I have gone through a few editors in my work, each with pros and cons. The first one I started with in my first web class was notepad. Not notepad++, just regular notepad from windows. Basically, the equivalent of writing code in MS Word, minus a spell checker. That was tough. It took hours coding a 4 page site with nothing fancy and some basic CSS. Debugging was even worse. I was ready to call it quits after a few projects.

Then I found Dreamweaver by Adobe. That was a game changer. I was in heaven. I didn’t know coding could be this smooth. But with all good things, there was a dark underside. The code bloat wasn’t the worst part, it was opening the program. That took forever. And accidentally clicking the icon initiating the app, oh man that made me mad. All-in-all, I would recommend Dreamweaver for beginners. The auto complete is pretty great so it saves time where you need it. Once you know what you’re doing, move on.

My school started pushing notepad++ and Brackets for classes. Probably just to keep it consistent and prevent the teachers having to fix issues they aren’t familiar with. Notepad++ is pretty simple. It’s an open sourced editor what can work in a pinch. It has a lot of our standard features like code folding, syntax highlighting, hints and auto-complete. What it’s lacking is scale-ability, themes and plugins. Brackets, also by Adobe, is amazing. Along with what would be considered the out-of-box features, you get the unexpected open source project from Adobe, so its quality, tons of plug-ins from the open source community and a light weight app built in HTML, CSS and JavaScript. I highly recommend it. Plus you can set your own theme, like old green terminal for those who are feeling nostalgic.

I have heard lots of developers proclaim their love for Sublime Text. I haven’t played around with it much because of the pay wall after the demo ends. It seems nice.

Atom is also a great editor. Similar to Brackets, but from GitHub. It has a huge community of contributors and is well liked by the public. And like all these editors, Sublime Text aside, it’s free. Atom is also written in JavaScript.

If you like online IDE’s, Codeanywhere is pretty good. They are one of the few sites that have an app that lets me code on the go with a tablet app. Although sometimes I some weird spacing issues that adds some invisible backspaces and padding to my site. So use at your own risk. But it does have some really great setups for Angular, Ember and many other frameworks. They also have live code sharing. The free level is pretty basic but you can upgrade to add extra features and cloud storage options. The onscreen keyboard isn’t too bad either.

What I’m really looking forward to is Visual Studio Code. If it’s anything like the Visual Studio, then it’s sure to be great. I can write a simple app in Visual Basic without having to really know that much .Net or C#, the code hinting is that good. It’s said to be setup for heavy shortcut use to keep you flying. It’s only in beta now but I can’t wait for the final release. Hopefully it stays free like its competitors because Visual Studio is a little pricey.

There’s always a new shiny tool to learn and I love trying them all. I’m sure I’ll use many more to come. As for what YOU should use, that’s up to you. Like I said it doesn’t matter if it works for you. Be open to trying new tools and growing your utility belt. You never know what you may find. As for me, I’ll stick with Brackets, which has a great Sublime Text Theme I like, until Visual Studio Code comes out…unless it’s money.

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