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 Â for the foreseeable future.