I just downloaded Aptana Studio to have a look around. I was hoping this software might assist me in my quest to develop a web site. I had thought it would provide web site templates at the very least so I could see a few existing designs and get some ideas. I was hoping it might also have some drag-and-drop features for images, divs and text so I could play around before I got down to coding.
Well, if it has any of this, I can't find it. Are there any free programs that will do any of this? If your answer is, "sure, Aptana", please explain where they have these features hiding!
I know nothing about Aptana, but my general advice is going to be similar to what you'll hear from others around these parts: learn to create your own code and designs. We can help you with that far more than we can with a program that "does it for you."
Edit: Rereading your post, it becomes apparent that you're not looking for a program that will "do it for you" as much as you're looking for ideas, templates, etc. No insult or denigration intended.
Aptana is an IDE, not a WYSIWYG editor, which it sounds like you're looking for.
Programs themselves won't provide you with existing designs and templates - you're best off looking at online design galleries for things like that. And if you're looking for a WYSIWYG editor where you can drag and drop divs and text and the like, look at something like Dreamweaver.
I already know how to code in almost any language, this isn't the problem. My problem is I need to see what I'm coding before I code it, and I need ideas because I have no idea what I am doing outside of a black background with green "terminal" font writing FORTRAN. lol. I have no need for an IDE, I use emacs because it is a consistent editor I can use no matter what language I happen to be using at the moment. What I need is some templates and prefab logos I can mess with in a program that handles them well.
There has got to be something free that helps people in the planning phase.
^Right - that/those would would be design templates...
Either you have that aptitude or you don't at the moment (it can be learned but it takes years of practice).
Logos and design comps and the like are usually made in a graphics app like Photoshop or Fireworks.
Aptana, though it has a fairly fancy GUI, is a code editor, more like Emacs than Photoshop.
So your expectations of Aptana need to, instead, be placed with a designer (or allow yourself some time to tinker/learn and produce something yourself).
One other thing that might be important to mention or ask is are you familiar with wireframes? These are what are typically created during planning, and tend to be "black and white", just detailing general functionality and layout - so where the logo would be might say "Sitename" as a placeholder. Typically you would build the site off of the IA from the wireframes and then skin it with sliced PSD's from a designer. So this "planning" stage from a web dev perspective is usually not graphically intensive (though it can be for some people as they choose a hybrid approach - creating richer wireframes), but rather more like a glorified napkin sketch !
Finally, if you just want/need some basic color and layout to get you going, you could start with a free template from Open Source Web Design - you can edit the code in your editor of choice and test in your preferred browser. Editing or embellishing images that come with the templates, will however, remain the purview of graphics editors, like Photoshop, not Emacs or Aptana.