Transmission Line Noise

Text­Mate vs Net­Beans vs Eclipse vs Zend Studio

Fri, Aug 20, 2010
Miscellaneous Work

Wher­ever pos­si­ble i develop on a Mac. I’m not an Apple fan­boy as such but there are cer­tain aspects of the hard­ware and the soft­ware plat­form that i like and gen­er­ally the whole devel­op­ment process on the OSX plat­form is smoother and eas­ier than when­ever i try Windows.

Hav­ing said that it will then tend to be that i am biased towards appli­ca­tions that run well on the Mac as well as offer­ing the func­tion­al­ity required to develop software.

I started my com­put­ing career on HP’s with a share­ware edi­tor called Edi­tor and a full screen one called QEdit and TECO on the DEC Tops 20 OS. At a later stage after mov­ing to the PC and Win­dows plat­form i tried a num­ber of edi­tors, BRIEF which was quite cool for it’s day and is still going strong. How­ever when i got to web devel­op­ment and was an MS user i either used Visual Stu­dio or Home­Site. VS need no expan­sion but Home­Site was inter­est­ing as an HTML ori­ented devel­op­ment tool but let you get at the code and didn’t muck with the code like Front­Page (shud­der) and was not as clut­tered as even the early incar­na­tions of Visual Stu­dio were.

When i moved to the Mac i couldn’t take Home­Site with me as it was a Win­dows only tool so after a bit of hack­ing around i started to use Eclipse as it was sim­i­lar to Home­site in it layout.

I stayed with Eclipse which became more use­ful as the PHP plu­g­ins were devel­oped but as i got more used to the Mac the less i liked Eclipse as being Java based it was never quite Mac like. At one point i had a brief foray into Zend Stu­dio, about 2007, but at that point it was not Mac like enough and had Ctrl+key as opposed to cmd+key which as a key­board short­cut user was as annoy­ing as hell. Ok maybe there were key­bind­ings i could have altered but i am a bit lazy that way.

Some time later i bought a copy of Text­Mate as i had seen this touted as “THE” Mac Edi­tor and the Ruby boys were flock­ing to it as well. This i found to be, like a lot of Mac soft­ware, the right level of com­pro­mise between usabil­ity, lack of overkill (see Visual Stu­dio) and because it is native Cocoa sheer speed on the Mac. It’s other advan­tage is the opene­ness that allows bun­dles to be writ­ten which add func­tion­al­ity but don’t overwhelm.

Very recently i used Net­Beans again. I had looked at it in the early days at the same time i was using Eclipse but then it was com­pletely Java. How­ever now it not only has PHP sup­port but also Zend and Sym­phony sup­port. THis means it will do code com­ple­tion etc.

How­ever it is Java and there­fore tends to run like a dog on the Mac (or is that just me?) and the inter­face is back to the messy, busy win­dows type style.

I think ther­fore that Text­Mate is going to stay as my edi­tor of choice  for the fore­see­able future.