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What is your favourite code editor and why?

A looong time ago (2003-2009) I was a Java developer and my favourite code editor was Eclipse over Netbeans.

Why?

  • Eclipse had a better UX than Netbeans.
  • Netbeans was too slow to respond to any action (code completion, syntax validation, deployment process, etc).
  • I was using built-in Eclipse functionalities (integrated with deployment/testing/etc).

I know that a lot has changed since I stopped developing.
I've seen so many people using text editors nowadays which would be a challenge for me.

I'm curious to know:
What is your go-to code editor? And why do you use it over the others?

  1. 10

    VSCode.

    Before VSCode, I've used many of the editors mentioned here. Atom, Sublime Text, Eclipse, IntelliJ, even RadRails and WebStorm.

    VSCode is just incredibly versatile and performant, aside from the popularity. Does everything I need and more, for every language I work with, is quick to learn, and runs very well.

    I will note though - CodeSandbox.io and GitHub CodeSpaces are gonna be HUGE. Learn one or both of them. They're finally getting the whole "IDE-in-a-browser" thing right, and they're going to change development as we know it.

    Namely because they give you the ability to start a real-world project with zero setup, and pick it up from any computer or tablet, and it's directly integrated with a GitHub repo. They're not going to replace the desktop code editor yet, but they're going to be a force to be reckoned with.

  2. 7

    Vim:

    • I can customize everything for my own needs. I like flexible tools.
    • It fits very well to my mouseless workflow (keeping my hands on my keyboard to avoid the cognitive burden to switch between keyboard / mouse).
    • The community is great. There are so many plugins out there!
    • Easy to learn, hard to master. I love improving with my tools, because you become very effective that way.
    • It's fun. Trying to do as less keystrokes as possible is the gamification of typing.
    • Its interface with the shell is awesome. You can basically use all the CLIs you want with Vim.
    • Like with the shell, you can automate so much stuff, it's insane. You repeat always the same editing, something like "put some parenthesis around a link and then put some square bracket before with the title of the link inside"? You can record the series of keystroke and repeat it with every link you want.

    I could continue like that all day 🥰

    To me, coming back to an IDE is a bit going for nocode when I've the flexibility of a full fledged programming language with a big layer of automation on top. This is the power of plain text: it's way easier to automate than a GUI.

    1. 1

      Totally gotta agree here especially about the keyboard-only benefits. I've got a window tiler setup too and Vim shortcuts on Firefox, so I can literally make it through my entire day without a mouse.

      1. 1

        Vim in the browser? I've never heard of that before. That's next level! 😄

  3. 7

    Vim gang. Makes me feel good while I code.

    1. 1

      Gotta agree here. vim-gtk (with a Solarized dark theme) is the only way to go!

  4. 6

    My journey has been Notepad > Dreamweaver > Coda > Sublime Text > vim > VSCode.

  5. 4

    Intellij
    I am surprised to see almost no mention of Intellij. Although VS code is great but I want to urge you to try of Intellij. It comes in multiple flavors to suit different tech stack.
    Love Intellij for

    1. Navigating in large projects and searching for usage is pretty smooth.
    2. Full fledged IDE that takes care of every aspect of development. Be it database connection, be it terminal, be it CI/CD integrations. You never have to leave the IDE.
    3. Vast repository of plugin available to optimize working on specific framework.
    4. super productive keyboard shortcuts.
    5. Project-level auto code formatting done in seconds.
      Do give it a try
    1. 1

      I totally agree. It's an incredible piece of software. I recently changed jobs, and I moved from working in Java to primarily working in C# with Visual Studios. I'm sure I'll find a new flow, but I miss my old workflow in IntelliJ dearly haha.

  6. 4

    VS Code:

    • Feels quick and smooth (unlike PHPStorm/Webstorm).
    • Good features out of the box and a great plugin ecosystem.
  7. 3

    Neo Vim for all. 😅

  8. 3

    Vim. On macs, it's mVim.

    Vim is fast. It's on almost every machine. And giving how long it's been around, I think it'll keep sticking around.

    But I think the main reason I don't use a heavy IDE is that it helps keep my code simpler and easier to understand.

    Counter-intuitively, I find that if I have a lot of IDE help to jump between code and all the completions, I'm more likely to make my code more complex. If I only have fuzzy search to rely on, I tend to keep my architecture simpler. That helps with maintenance over time.

  9. 3

    VS Code. Free, great community support via gazillion extensions. Allow remote coding, code collaborations, themes. I haven't found it lacking in any way.

  10. 2

    +1 to VS Code!

    I find it very performant, fluid and easy to customize to my needs. Its popularity helps for a healthy and full of options ecosystem.

    My code editor journey:

    1. Notepad
    2. Dreamweaver
    3. NetBeans
    4. Atom Editor
    5. VS Code

    Needless to say that every editor change was a struggle and usually took me a while to get used to but always worth it in the end.

  11. 2

    I come here to find out who says the Xcode. XD

  12. 2

    Vim, simple, no annoying pop ups, works anywhere, and you don’t need a mouse, steep learning curve, but worth it over time.

  13. 2

    Currently, VS Code.

    Previously, Atom.

    Before that, Emacs.

    1. 1

      I’m on Atom. Seems like the transition to VS code is inevitable.

  14. 1

    I love Sublime Text because it is easy to use for newbies. I also love Visual Studio Code to deal with large and complicated projects.

  15. 1

    PHPStorm for the win.

  16. 1

    It hardly depends. I really like the idea of having a lightweight editor like VSCode and use it for almost everything with the appropriate extensions.

    But when working in a larger project I still like to use dedicated IDE's such as PyCharm or IntelliJ. Intellisense is just working way better compared to VSCode imo.

  17. 1

    VSCode as well. Ever since Microsoft "opened up" their code editor and completely rebuilt it, it's been amazing. It is fast, it handles all the data I need and is just fantastic.

    What is interesting is before the new VSCode, a lot of us (FE devs) were working off of WebStorm. One of our codebases is a monorepo with a TON of code behind it - WebStor, at the time, just could not handle that much data. VSCode had zero issues.

  18. 1

    NeoVim.

    Before NeoVim, VSCode.

  19. 1

    VSCode.

    This is a bit of a lie, but also somewhat true. VSCode is extremely flexible and versatile which in my opinions makes it the most useful editor out there. But this sometimes comes with the hassle of setting up the editor, plugins etc.

    Other editors (or IDEs) like pycharm require minimal configuration and are more "plug and play" compared to VSCode. But overall I would say my most enjoyable experience and the one I use day to day is VSCode.

  20. 1

    Visual Studio Code is my favorite editor. Before that, it was Visual Studio.NET. I like both of them because I know .NET well and my favorite language is C#. But recently I started to work more on React and JavaScript, so I needed to switch.

    I like VSCode because it is lightweight and fast and also available on Windows and Mac.

  21. 1

    I started off with notepad when learning the barebones of html and css in my coding journey but now I just use Vscode since it so easy to tailor it to your liking and create such as great environment for coding.

  22. 1

    VS Code and previeous was sublime text

  23. 1

    It's VSCode.

    Before discovering this gem, I've used a lot of code editors like Sublime, Eclipse, Atom, and Notepad++.

    VSCode brings all of its functionalities to the next level. There are a lot of extensions that can improve your productivity as a developer. It's like a swiss army knife, this code editor has it all.

    There's more I got to say but, I guess you should try it yourself.

  24. 1

    All of JetBrains IDE's.

    After PHPStorm, I just can't use VSCode comfortably

    It has very powerful refactor/changes tools. And lots of great tips while writing code. Autocomplete also does the job.

  25. 1

    PyCharm. I tried VSCode several times and get lost in its plugin world. Using VSCode somehow reminds me of Linux: it's fun, powerful but requires a lot of tweaking to fit my usage. In PyCharm, everything just works, albeit far from perfect. Html/JS formatted nicely, intelligent code completion, debugging built in, break point works the way it should, etc.

  26. 1

    Sublime Text with no reason!

  27. 1

    My favorite is VIM, because it's...

    • extremely productive as you learn it better and better
    • endlessly customizable
    • resource efficient (and thus fast)
    • available inside nearly every IDE, from Visual Studio to SBT to JetBrains to Atom to VS Code
    • still there when you SSH to a remote server
    • good about keeping your fingers close to the home row
    • been a major factor in healing my RSI!
  28. 1

    Eclipse IDE is still around is released every three months, most recently 2021-03.

    Eclipse IDE still has great incremental (invisible) Java compilation, and it supports multiple open projects.

    I use it mostly for Java development, but occasionally also for:

    I use Emacs for anything else, mostly shell scripts and AWK.

    When cooperating with frontend developers, I tend the same editor as them, usually Visual Studio Code.

  29. 1

    I use Bracket for nodeJS... I think it basically have not much features but I like it lightweight and fast enough:)

  30. 1

    It’s very hard to choose between atom and vscode

  31. 1

    Notepad > Notepad++ > Gedit > VIM > VSCode

  32. 1

    Intellij idea :) Got used to it thought last 6 years.

  33. 1

    I use visual studio for C# projects as it have a great user experience and VCode for Apex language I started to like VCode more and more for it's simplicity and the powerfully extension that you can have in to make your life way easier, using WSL with VCode to separate the environment for each project it's helpful for not missing up your local environment as me I have frontend environment and back-end environment

  34. 1

    PhpStorm for side projects, it just works, and integrates well with symfony/laravel.
    VS Pro for work. Because corporate.

  35. 1

    Back in time I used to use vim. But then I joined my first company.
    Now you know, you have to interoperate with other employees.
    So guess what am I using? VSCode.
    I use it for nearly every language I deal with.

  36. 1

    Sublime. It has near perfect Emacs bindings meaning that I don't really need to fiddle around with mouse when coding. And Emacs for terminal use.

  37. 1

    VS Code all the way, after resisting for some time and sticking with Atom. I've never got on with PHPstorm/Webstorm.

  38. 1

    Sublime! But after some successful experiments with code-server + iPad + Magic Keyboard, it's been getting hard to ignore vscode :P

    1. 2

      Working out of an iPad sounds great. Would you ditch your computer and work 100% with an iPad?

      1. 1

        With what I've tried with code-server, I think more accurately it's working out of a $5 DigitalOcean VM hosting the dev environment.
        Depending on the type of work and with a stable enough net - I don't see why it's not possible nowadays :)

  39. 1

    IntelliJ IDEA or anything with Vim key bindings

  40. 1

    I used to be a big fan of PyCharm but I'm slowly moving towards VS Code as the loading times quicker and I use it in my day job a lot.

    I still prefer PyCharm for debugging though, so I guess it's VS Code for general coding and then PyCharm when I need the tooling for specific jobs.

  41. 1

    VS Code. Because it took on what was good on Sublime and built upon that. It's still not as snappy as Sublime, but I guess Macbook M1 would solve that.

    And plugins are awesome. I used to use PHPStorm/Webstorm because of Git integration but Gitlens has gone a long way.

    Today I discovered Rest Client plugin, so I think I'm gonna retire the Postman too.

  42. 1

    Like many in here, VS code for sure. Yes it is made by Microsoft, but it is open source and even runs on linux. Which is great!

  43. 1

    These day I code (in Python) only with Repl.it, hence I use the editor that comes with the environment. As a Chrome OS enthusiast I love this setup because it works fully in the cloud with zero friction, even on a phone.

  44. 1

    Neovim (even if today, I believe I could move back to regular vim 8) for all things code. Been using vim as my main editor for 10 years, for ruby and JS mostly. Works wonder, fast, once you get used to it it's very hard to go back to regular non-modal editors.

  45. 1

    VS Code, even though I am not a fan of Microsoft.

  46. 1

    VScode has tons of extensions and has everything I need.

    1. 1

      Seems like VSCode became popular nowadays. People used to hate it in the past.

      1. 1

        Well, since it is OSS, its easier to get revisions and to fix what is bad. I’ve also been trying a bit of Vim on the side, and quite like it. But it’s better for smaller fixes and not starting from scratch. In that case, I prefer to use VScode.

  47. 1

    I use VS Code becuase it's easy to use and has developer friendly features.

  48. 0

    TLDR: I prefer Atom ... developed by Github, Open Source and free, great git integration and live collab in the editor, very hackable, minimalist, support multiple languages, add functionality with packages. Atom is also faster to boot and has a nicer/simpler UI than large IDEs such as eclipse in my experience. JetBrains tools are the most powerful tools I have used. Great for Debugging, Productivity, Most Features/Functions, Very Intuitive, Well Built, And Smooth Performance. Much better UI and intuitive feeling to it than Other large IDEs like eclipse.

    I prefer Atom generally. I used many editors when I was in college including eclipse, netbeans, Jgrasp, notepad++, brackets, code blocks, python idle, android studio and more. I also would recommend trying JetBrains editors, They are pretty much the most well built programming tools that exist.

    Lets compare Atom to VS Code so I can display some of the features of both, they are similar in a few ways. Both VS Code and Atom are free and open source. Try them out and see which you like better. List of pros and cons for each below. You can find a better analysis of them by searching google or something like that.

    Both have strong community support and are actively developed and they allow code collaboration live in the editor.

    VS Code is developed by Microsoft
    Pros:

    1. Easy to use
    2. Code completion
    3. Supports many languages
    4. I have never needed more functionality than this offers.
    5. Can be used on Windowns/Mac/Linux etc.

    Cons:

    1. May not be as powerful as a large IDE like eclipse

    Atom is developed by Github ... which is owned by Microsoft now. Microsoft purchased Github for like $7.5 billion.
    Pros:

    1. Easy to use.
    2. Nice UI.
    3. Good Code completion with extensions
    4. Multiple language support.
    5. Made by Github so good git/version control support.
    6. Easily hackable... meaning you can change pretty much anything about it easily. Theres is even a page in the documentation that is titled "how to hack Atom" or something like that.
    7. Simple UI and functionality ...*(can add more functionality with packages/extensions).
    8. Building on point no 7.*Atom is extremely versatile.
    9. Can be used on Windows/Mac/Linux etc.
    10. Teletype - an awesome way to share live code and collaborate in real time.
    11. Again I have never needed more functionality than this editor provides

    Cons.

    1. Not as much out of box functionality (extra functionality has to be added with extensions/packages. (but they are easy to install from the package install menu, so this is barely a con).
    2. Again may not be as powerful as a large IDE like eclipse.

    Another option is JetBrains editors. Pretty much anything by JetBrains if you want to pay for the editor. They are extremely well built and In my opinion the best tools out there. I think some of JetBrains tools have a free community edition or something like that. Best functioning editors I have ever used by far.

    IntelliJ IDEA was way!!!!!!! better for Java development than eclipse. I am not a fan of the Java language however ... I prefer Ruby or JavaScript or C# or even C++ to Java. Kotlin for android dev beats Java anyday, but if you have to use Java go with JetBrains. RubyMine for Ruby, Pycharm for Python, IntelliJ IDEA for Java, WebStorm for web development with JavaScript, HTML, CSS, CLion for C and C++ etc. They are all extremely powerful tools.

    The reason I prefer Atom generally is because I like minimalistic tools ... with a certain necessary amount of functionality, but not too much. I can add the packages I want and cut out everything else with Atom. I can also change the look and features pretty well all while keeping it simple. Some people like as much power and functionality as they can get however and if you are one of them than JetBrains is probably the best.

    1. 1

      Points 6, 7, 8, 9, 10 apply equally to VSCode as well.

    2. 1

      Looks like Eclispe, who was the leader at that time, is becoming obsolete? IntelliJ IDEA is the preferable one now.

      VSCode which in the past was only for .NET is now extremely popular as it expanded to support other languages.

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