My IDE of choice when developing is Aptana Studio. I was setting up a new install last night on a Windows development machine and it seemed like it was a little “sluggish” (yes, that is a technical term).
After some quick Googling I found Mike Henke’s post on Turbo Charging Eclipse. Since Aptana is built on top of Eclipse this is just what I was looking for. Mike’s guide is pretty dang comprehensive and I will not reiterate it but if you are looking for some performance gains I would consider it recommended reading.
Admittedly, I did not go through all the steps he outlined. I made some “best guesses” based on my system configuration and went with it. Here is my current AptanaStudio3.ini file for Windows, although the same optimizations should work equally well on Linux.
Aptana Studio 3
The end result, Aptana definitely feels like it has a little more pep in its step. I do not have any benchmarks or hard quantitative data to back that up, only my personal experience.
Anyone who has ever done any amount of work with me knows that I am a little bit of a “Code Nazi.” I am not a fan of tab-indented coding because on a busy page I do not want to keep scrolling into the middle of next week just to get to the end of a line. I prefer indenting each new level of code with a space because it is just as easy to interpret and nesting several layers deep does start almost off the page.
As I mentioned before I have switched to Aptana for development recently and that is one of the best changes I have made in a long time. Aptana has quite a few settings in the preferences for handling tabs in the editor. Unfortunately, changing these settings seem to only affect how the editor displays the code. If you save a file and open it in another editor, the tabs will display as tabs again and again the nesting will be off the page.
Well today I could not take it any more and I set out looking for a solution to the problem. Then I came across a nice little plugin called AnyEdit. AnyEdit will allow you to convert tabs to spaces as well as clean up any trialing whitespace after tags. Definitely worth checking out if do not like the nested tabs either.
Lately I have been in flux trying to find a new IDE for development. Over the course of the last year or so I have used quite a few editors. I rely heavily on Dreamweaver, I have used it for so many years it is almost second nature for me. The down side to Dreamweaver is it has a lot of features, many I never use. All those nice features can sometimes make it feel sluggish at times.
I also use jEdit quite a bit for local development. While it does not have all the bells and whistles of a full-featured web IDE, once you are familiar with it, it flies. The one notable exception being the initial load time while it is building the file index. I do miss having SFTP support, code completion, etc. I wanted to find something that was lightweight like jEdit, but with some of the more advanced features found in Dreamweaver.
I have used CFEclipse pretty extensively in the past, but we have had somewhat of a rocky relationship. When it originally came out I had some issues with the SnipEx servers which was one of the main reasons I switched originally. It seems like s/ftp was not supported or if it was, I had problems implementing it with my servers. It is a great project, but I had more impediments where it seemed like Dreamweaver just worked.
With that in mind, last week I set out to give CFEclipse a try again and I must say it has matured since the last time I used it. SFTP integration is working nicely now (although I haven’t had a chance to test synchronization). The SnipEx servers seem quite stable and have grown as well. CFBuilder being built on Eclipse has also taught me many tricks to stream line development. While some of the shortcuts do not work, many of them do. The one issue I did have was related to the File Explorer not being able to create directories.
Which brings me to Aptana. I have heard of it before but I have had neither the time nor the inclination to pick it up. I tried installing Aptana as a plugin in Eclipse but I didn’t have much luck. I decided to to download Aptana and then install CFEclipse as a plugin and I am pleased with the results. The Aptana File view resolved the issue I was having with CFEclipse’s File Explorer, plus it is pretty nice to boot.
I have only used it for a day but I am pleased so far and I look forward to playing around with it some more tomorrow. I still intend on purchasing CFBuilder when I can, but I think this will definitely work for me in the mean time.
Now my next fun project will be to get EGit up and running. I will save that for tomorrow though.