Owing to my rapidly increasing age I’ve used many, many IDEs and text editors over the years. Visual Studio, Aptana, Eclipse, HomeSite, CoffeeCup, Bluefish, Komodo, Vim, Crimson, jEdit, TextPad, PSPad, ConTEXT, PHPEdit, ScITE — I’ve probably forgotten more than I remember. Most annoy me. They often miss features I want or add bloat I don’t need. My current editor of choice is Notepad++: it’s simple, lightweight and very configurable.
There’s a lightweight internal server, embedded WebKit browser, Chrome integration and responsive web design facilities:
CSS styles can be edited directly or changed within the Inspector-like rule editor:
There’s also a new debugger which can analyze code running in the internal browser or Chrome. You can apply breakpoints on lines, when a DOM element changes, when events are raised and when Ajax requests are called. Very useful:
Finally, there’s a great browser log which displays exceptions, errors and warnings as they occur:
Don’t forget that NetBeans also provides first-class development facilities for PHP, Java and C/C++. If you’re into that sort of thing.
It’s great to see client side browser technologies finally receiving the tools they deserve. I’m going to give NetBeans another look … will you?
NetBeans is available for free from netbeans.org.
Craig is a freelance UK web consultant who built his first page for IE2.0 in 1995. Since that time he's been advocating standards, accessibility, and best-practice HTML5 techniques. He's created enterprise specifications, websites and online applications for companies and organisations including the UK Parliament, the European Parliament, the Department of Energy & Climate Change, Microsoft, and more. He's written more than 1,000 articles for SitePoint and you can find him @craigbuckler.