Unless you use a hosted blogging service such as WordPress.com or Blogger, chances are you’ve had to touch the code within your theme or blogging software of choice. For a longtime, I was a big fan of Dreamweaver. But that program is expensive. Once I got sick of the cost, I went out and searched the web for a free alternative. That’s when I stumbled across a piece of software called Aptana Studio. Aptana is opensource software available free of charge and in my mind, comes the closest to mimicking much of what I enjoyed with Dreamweaver such as the ability to perform code suggestions which I find to be very handy when messing around with CSS.
However, there are a couple of things with Aptana that have bothered me so much, I’ve moved on to a new piece of software called Notepad++.
Brownie points awarded to anyone who can guess what this code is part of
It seems like each time I open Aptana, there are 50 new updates I have to install. But the biggest annoyance for me is when I open up a PHP file for editing and try to SAVE THE FILE AS, a dialog box pops up asking me to save it as a project or something to that affect. Saving PHP files is a real pain in the rear.
With Notepad++, the software loads much faster than Aptana and once it does load, I’m not bombarded with news or updates that need to be installed. I don’t do much if any development work so using Notepad++ as a quick and easy editor of PHP and CSS files has worked well for me. The one thing I miss about Aptana is its ability to auto complete code or code suggestions. For example, if I type in the CSS property of background: into Aptana, a drop down list of variables is presented to me that I can click on to finish the statement. So far, I’ve not seen this feature in Notepad++ but if you know how to turn that on (if it exist) let me know.
I received a number of suggestions on Twitter on which code editor I should use but in the end, I’ve decided to go with Notepad++. It’s free, easy to install, and it’s quick to load. If you’re looking for a program to quickly edit code, this one should fit the bill.
Which editor do you use to edit or develop code?