Code Editors

I’ve been using PhpStorm as my primary code editor for three years now. It is an excellent editor for php, html, css and Javascript. I recently received an email from JetBrains about the upcoming renewal. The renewal fee is $53 for a year which isn’t a budget buster by any means but after three years this presents a logical point in time to evaluate and even reevaluate other options.

In 2015 I went through this process. I used to do a lot of Java development and primarily used Eclipse. In late 2014 I picked up several projects and not a single one of them required Java. I loaded the needed plugins into Eclipse and kept going. But in the summer of 2015 I started looking for a replacement code editor. I looked at everything I could find both free and paid. I availed myself of every trial of any editor out there.

In the fall of 2015 I settled on PhpStorm and took advantage of a special offer they had at the time for a three year license. I soon settled into a very smooth workflow in PhpStorm and I didn’t give much thought to other editors out there. Now, three years later it’s time to either confirm my choice of PhpStorm or to choose a better option.

I’m not dissatisfied with PhpStorm and some would call me crazy for spending time fixing a problem that doesn’t appear to exist. But technology changes fast and vendors leapfrog each other. I’d hate to doggedly stick with PhpStorm if there is something out there providing improved efficiency. As a consultant, even a modest improvement in efficiency or improved workflow can result in a significant addition to the bottom line.

Over the next few weeks I will evaluate Eclipse, Netbeans, Sublime, Atom and any other editor I can find including Microsoft’s cross platform editor. My process is pretty simple. I will load each editor in turn and use it for at least week. I don’t expect to become an intimate expert with any of them. What I am trying to understand is how easy each is to setup and use and how they support or hinder my workflow.

This is the same process I went through three years ago and it served me well then so I expect it will do the same now. If you have a suggestion for a code editor, please share it in the comments section below.

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