Kicking the Eclipse habit

Eclipse is a wondrous piece of work, and extremely useful. I have cooked up many lines of code in that IDE over the years (I’ve deleted lots of lines in it too, which is as it should be), and will probably bust it out again and again in the future. But for now? For now I’ve parked it. Too many UI quirks getting in the way, too many dependent pieces of code ’n’ plug-ins, too much waiting for “tooling” to pull its trousers up. I like it simple: one or three bare-bones editors, and the command line.

It’s always good to compare with fellow developers, and I always like to hear what kit people are using. I’ll start: here’s the current tool-set getting the love chez Foo

Sublime Text 2 (all main platforms)
Great programming editor, loads of syntax files built-in, and cross-platform in a good way. Really like using this, and it’s my PHP / Ruby editor of choice at the moment (not that I do much Ruby, but I can dream).
Coda (OS X)
Venerable editor for all things web plus a few others. Still a big favourite but needs a version bump—and soon.
A terminal
So flexible, oh the things you can do! It has its own range of editors (my fave is vi) plus git, ssh, svn, maven, phing, all the rest… :-)

—Oh yes, the main languages and environments I’m flailing at with these tools are PHP, HTML, CSS, and Javascript (including the splendiferous Jasmine—more on that later).


  1. I've found espresso to be very useful. It's Mac only, though. Mike#
  2. You should definitely check out WebStorm by IntelliJ. It's pure awesomeness!Joacim Boive#
  3. I can not believe that somenone wants to go back to the command line and simple editors after he had used an IDE.

    How do you make reafactoring operations in a big project.
    What is about syntax completion,
    automatic compilation when you type in new things,
    automatic code Correction and so on and on

    So simple editors and commandline is great for very small projects, but my java projects have over 5000 files.Ralf M Petter#
  4. Ralf, for strongly-typed languages requiring oodles of re-factoring, I would absolutely use an IDE with decent re-factoring support (like Eclipse), It’s the sane option no question. But for other stuff, why not use simpler, quicker tools? Works for me!

    (BTW, the project I’m working on at the moment is a major public-facing website viewed by several hundred thousand people every month. That’s not small ;-) )Ben Poole#
  5. Ben,

    I use the Visual Studio IDE for web development. Yes thats right a MS product for pure web development. Its far easier to maintain, very quick and after years of installing, updating and re-configuring Eclipse installs a lot less frustrating. Theres a built in preview mode which opens the pages in a local web server, so I dont have to install one and version control and auto build. The editors first class. Wish there was a plugin for JSFiddle though. John Z Marshall#

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I’m a software architect / developer / general IT wrangler specialising in web, mobile web and middleware using things like node.js, Java, C#, PHP, HTML5 and more.

Best described as a simpleton, but kindly. You can read more here.