My Tools

I was involved in a discussion recently about what IDE is the best. Like many things it is a very subjective thing, and depends heavily on what you are coding, what your team is using, and often what you are most familiar with. I thought I would post this to let people know some options and get feedback on what works for you.

I primarily use Notepad++ for text, shell/batch scripts, light SQL, HTML and quick viewing or coding in Java or PHP. I have my desktop set to open most text based files, both at home and at work, in Notepad++. I originally got it for the multi-file tabs and its understanding of the different operating system’s character sets and line breaks, but started extending it with plug-in. I wrote most of Connexions with it, putting each chapter in a tab, allowing me quick reference and search across the entire book. So if you need something beyond Notepad, I recommend it.

For more complex development work, especially Java and PHP, I use Eclipse. I was introduced to it over ten years ago where it was one of the options at work, and since the developer I was primarily working with used it, I decided to go with it. It definitely has its quirks, and early on the complaints about its performance was well founded. However, the wealth of plug-ins, especially for version control and build processes, and the support for my primarily languages (C, Java, PHP) suits my needs very well. It also helps that it is portable and cross-platform (mostly) meaning I can get it up and running when and where I need it.

I am not a graphic designer and I bang out most of my HTML by hand. However, until someone comes along to fix the graphics, that header image was created in – my go-to graphics tool. The basic layouts of the Connexions PDFs are currently done in Scribus, which definitely has some rough spots compared to other desktop publishing applications, but gets the job done for my rough drafts.

So, what are your tools?

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Just the guy trying to keep everything running around here...
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