I’ve been looking for a good IDE for my web development for the better part of the last decade. My needs aren’t great, but no matter where I look I can’t find anything that can fulfill them all. Here is what I want in my IDE:
2.) Must support the automatic uploading of files on save.
3.) Cannot add ANY extra files to the site itself. I can’t stand it when editors find it necessary to add there own meta files/folders to your site.
4.) Must run on Windows and Mac
Would be nice features:
1.) It would be nice if it would run on Linux too
2.) It would be nice if it would also serve as an IDE for C/C++ and/or Java
Seems simple, right? Unfortunately it really isn’t that easy. I’ve tried the following programs and none of them can do everything:
Adobe Dreamweaver CS3: This comes closest and is what I use most on a daily basis. It is the only one that supports the automatic uploading of files on save, and does a good job at general coding in PHP, HTML, CSS, and a few others. Unfortunately it doesn’t meet any of the “would be nice features.” In addition, although the price is affordable, I’m becoming a bigger fan of open-source software and am getting a little tired of the extremely high upgrade price every couple of years.
Bluefish Editor: This popular Linux editor does well at editing common web code, but that’s about it., and it isn’t available for Windows which kills it’s usefulness to me.
Aptana/Eclipse: Although 2 separate products Aptana is build on the Eclipse engine so I will review them together. Like all the editors I’ve tried they do well at actually editing the code. Unlike the others however they insist on adding a .project file to the site directory. Although this is a small inconvenience as a code purist I find it unacceptable that any program will add files I did not create myself. In addition the auto-upload feature is said to exist, but I’ve found it to be buggy at best and as of this writing I have been unable to get it to work on any of the 4 separate times I’ve tried it.
UltraEdit32: This program also comes close, it does a good job editing code in nearly any language used today. It does contain an FTP feature, however as it is only available in Windows I stopped using it before I bot to see if it would automatically upload files on save like Dreamweaver.
In a nutshell, until Netbeans refines the FTP features in it’s latest IDE I think I’m going to be stuck with Dreamweaver. It is the only IDE that works on multiple operating systems which will handle the bulk of the code I write and has the ability to upload my files when I save them. I have started using Netbeans as well, but this will be reserved for Java and C/C++ projects and will stay away from my websites for now.