Take the 2-minute tour ×
Programmers Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for professional programmers interested in conceptual questions about software development. It's 100% free, no registration required.

I'm currently looking to move to using an IDE for web development. The options I'm considering are:

  1. Aptana Studio
  2. Coda
  3. Expresso

Please base your answers on the following criteria, in descending order of importance:

  1. Supports HTML, CSS, JavaScript
  2. Powerful (having good code completion, good debugger, great syntax highlighting etc)
  3. Fast and light
  4. Supports HTML5, CSS3, and major JavaScript frameworks (JQuery or YUI)
  5. Great design (both usability and aesthetics)
  6. Supports PHP, Ruby, and Python
  7. Has Git integrated

I've updated the question to be more objective. I'm mainly looking for an answer that addresses how well each of the IDEs addresses my criteria.

share|improve this question
add comment

closed as not constructive by Mark Trapp Jan 16 '12 at 5:04

As it currently stands, this question is not a good fit for our Q&A format. We expect answers to be supported by facts, references, or expertise, but this question will likely solicit debate, arguments, polling, or extended discussion. If you feel that this question can be improved and possibly reopened, visit the help center for guidance.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

4 Answers

up vote 6 down vote accepted

Coda

Of the three you mention I think Coda is the best buy. Espresso was (is) worthless until they integrate better. Aptana is heavy and clunky.

Note that Coda doesn't have a debugger or support for JS frameworks as far as I know. I last used Coda at 1.5 before switching to VIM / TextMate for everything.

Comparison


A: Aptana
C: Coda
E: Espresso

  1. Supports HTML, CSS, JavaScript (ACE)
  2. Powerful (having good code completion (ACE), good debugger (A), great syntax highlighting (ACE))
  3. Fast and light (CE)
  4. Supports HTML5, CSS3 (AC), and major JavaScript frameworks (JQuery or YUI) (A?)
  5. Great design (both usability and aesthetics) (C)
  6. Supports PHP, Ruby, and Python (ACE)
  7. Has Git integrated (A?)

Thoughts


  1. All support HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. By support I mean offers tag closings, some formatting options, and syntax highlighting.
  2. Code completion is bad, as are IDE's in general
  3. Fast and light are not indicators of good IDE's, rather they are indicators of excellent feature pruning.
  4. What specifically do you mean by HTML5 (buzzword), CSS3 (almost a buzzword)?
  5. All aren't horrible, Coda and Espresso are better then Aptana.
  6. All support to some extent these languages.
  7. None as far as I know have integrated git support, and none should. Git is best done at a command line.
share|improve this answer
5  
IDEs are great. –  Alison Dec 13 '10 at 1:19
    
+1 for the vim plug. Not that I recommend it (due to learning curve) but personally, I use vim (mac, windows, linux) and textmate (mac) for most text editing. –  gahooa Dec 13 '10 at 1:50
    
@Alison: In my experience one is more efficient by simply learning the code base then depending on the IDE to fill in the gaps. Sure it has some nice things but if you're comfortable only with them you become severely disabled when having to do without them. –  Josh K Dec 13 '10 at 2:37
2  
When would you have to do without them?! And efficiency is certainly subjective - if you have to learn a codebase before you gain that efficiency, you might find that in a lot of situations you've wasted time. No offence meant - I certainly get where you're coming from - but this really isn't black and white. –  Alison Dec 13 '10 at 7:16
    
@JoshK By HTML5 and CSS3 I mean the newer stuff like <video>, -webkit-gradient, etc. Basically I want them to be able to recognise the newer tags and not mark them as errors, i.e. to have a development team that keeps up-to-date with the latest stuff. –  jon2512chua Dec 13 '10 at 12:20
show 3 more comments

Netbeans

It fits everything apart from "Fast and light". It's fast enough which is all you need.

  • Best tools I've seen for history and file diffs that you won't find in something small like coda.
  • There is a git plugin which works really well.
  • Auto-completion for PHP is very good, better than eclipse based IDEs.
  • Support for web frameworks like rails and symfony.

You might also want to look at Komodo.

share|improve this answer
add comment

Coda and Espresso are indeed the two main ones. As for which of these two should you use, the real answer is simply, "whichever you prefer best". Can you try them both out and see what you like before you commit?

share|improve this answer
    
I've updated the question to be more objective. I'm mainly looking for an answer that addresses how well each of the IDEs addresses my criteria. –  jon2512chua Dec 13 '10 at 0:33
add comment

Aptana is way too heavy on the jar files, and it isn't as responsive as I'd like on my Macbook Air. Plus, it's hard to get it go into full-screen mode - like you can with Textmate.

share|improve this answer
add comment

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.