IDES 101, PART II: 5 More Open-Source Coding Environments for Developers
We highlight five more open source editors you might want to consider for your upcoming projects.
- By Terrence Dorsey
(Editor's Note: For the first part in this series, please click here.)
The craftsman and his tools are often intimately connected. And that's as valid a statement for the coder as for the cabinetmaker. You can write code in just about any text editor, but creating an application or Web site at any level of sophistication can be a chore without the right tools.
Back in May we took our first look at some free, open-source coding environments that trace their roots back to Vim and Unix. This time around we'll introduce you to six more FOSS editors. There's little in the way of shared lineage with this batch, though: Quanta Plus and Kate come out of the KDE project, while Bluefish is built on GNOME. The other editors discussed here have similarly diverse backgrounds.
Another differentiating feature, however, is that some of these tools are starting to resemble full-bore integrated development environments (IDEs). What does that mean? Well, they're designed and built from the ground up to integrate the different aspects of software development, from setting up projects to coding, source management, debugging, and deployment.
Many of the coding environments we've seen so far offer those features via plug-ins and extensions, but there's often added value in having those features built seamlessly into the system, as you'd find in, say, Visual Studio. And at a higher price than free.
So without further ado, the tools:
1) Aptana Studio
Aptana also offers the RadRails 2.0 IDE for Ruby on Rails, and you can download a beta of Aptana Studio 3 from the site to explore features under development.
More on Aptana Studio can be found here:
As with many of the other IDEs here, NetBeans has extensive plug-in support and there are nearly 600 available through the NetBeans Plugin Portal.
NetBeans is available for Windows, Mac OS, Linux and Solaris, and there are preconfigured download bundles for popular development frameworks.
There's thousands of resources for NetBeans across the Web, but here's some to start with:
3) Quanta Plus
Quanta Plus is a Web-focused IDE developed as part of the Linux KDE desktop environment. Quanta supports HTML and XHTML, CSS, PHP, XML and other structured markup languages. PHP support includes debugging with Gubed and XDebug. CVS support is built-in, and Subversion support is available through plug-ins. theKompany offers a commercial version called Quanta Gold for Linux, Mac OS X, and Windows.
For more on Quanta Plus, check out these links:
All three components are typically included in the KDE releases for various Linux distros, and experimental releases for Windows and Mac OS X are available.
For more on Kate and its iterations, go here:
Versions of Bluefish are available for most POSIX-compatible operating systems including Linux, FreeBSD, MacOS X, OpenBSD and Solaris. There is also a version available for Windows.
Terrence Dorsey is a technical writer, editor and content strategist specializing in technology and software development. Over the last 25-plus years he has worked on developer-focused projects at ESPN, The Code Project, and Microsoft. Read his blog at http://terrencedorsey.com or follow @tpdorsey on Twitter.