I’ve been using Crimson Editor for a few years now to code the numerous languages/scripts I frequent; mostly AS, PHP, C#, HTML, CSS and XML. Recently it’s been letting me down with the newer versions of these languages since it sort of become abandonware in 2004 with the sole author dropping off the planet. It’s successor Emerald Editor seemed far from complete with the last alpha release being in 2007. Today I decided enough was enough, it’s time to switch. Finding an all in one editor took me ages last time so I expected the same this time around. Luckily I ended up with around 10 apps in my list within an hour or two of looking. After narrowing the list down I was left with SEPY, FlashDevelop and Eclipse with either the Aptana or AXDT plugins.
SEPY went off the list after I read a few reviews about how it lacked AS3 support. Since I’m now developing all future projects with ActionScript 3 then that meant it was a bust. I did decide that if the others all failed me I would check it out myself incase the reviewers were idiots ?
Eclipse made me a bit apprehensive. I remember using it a few years ago when I worked with Java at a company in town. The main problem I had with it then was the interface kept glitching out on me and not refreshing. You’d end up with code segments looking scattered across the screen. It also seemed slow to load and would randomly start doing things in the background, no idea what but progress bars would start ticking by in the status panel and I’d get the impression I should wait for them to finish! I figured after all this time they would of sorted it out. Nope. I properly lol when I saw my code go scattered in the first 2 minutes of usage. On top of that I couldn’t get code highlighting to work with the Aptana or AXDT plugins. It was a pity because I did have minor hopes that Eclipse could be my all in one editor since people always go on about it when I’m reading articles for the various languages I like.
FlashDevelop, what a surprise this was. Hella-Awesome-o. Straight away syntax highlighting was there. It has full code completion, support for JavaDocs and a proper wicked cool feature that lets you tap F6 to run a preview in the Flash IDE. That’s something I’ve wanted Crimson to do for ages. It has a built in syntax checker as well. There’s loads of cool features I have still to explore. So isn’t this just for ActionScript? Nope, it has built in suppport for HTML, CSS and XML. I dropped a PHP file in there to see what would happen and it auto picked the HTML highlighter. Surprisingly enough that actually looked fine. For now I’m quite happy with FlashDevelop. I’ll start using it tomorrow in some proper projects and see how it fairs, so far though it looks very promising and I am a very happy chappy. ?