To continue being competitive and productive, writing good code in minimum time is an indispensable skill that every software engineer must control. Writing code has become a fundamental requirement for many developing divisions including the Internet of Things and Artificial intelligence.
Many experienced coders will confirm, choosing the right IDE and/or code editor is important for building and maintaining high-quality code. As the number and style of writing code increases and new programming languages surface often, the software engineers must find the right IDE to achieve the purposes.
In this post, I will cover some IDE and code editors that have caught the attention of the development communities, However, before continuing further, I would like to cover an important difference that refuses to go away!
And it is…
The Difference Between IDE and Code Editors
It might seem that in this present time when we write code it has become a common enough skill, that there’s still confusion about the exact definition between an IDE and a code editor.
One of the problems could be traced to the fact that the line between the two is blurring because of the crossover of features.
Typically, an Integrated Development Environment or IDE is a self-contained package that allows you to write, compile, execute and debug code in the same place. While, a code editor is a text editor with various features that help the process of writing code, either through native capabilities or through optional plugins.
Commonly, IDE is concentrated on a single language and contains the compiler and debugger specific to the language. While, code editors are more general-purpose in their capabilities, being able to work with many programming languages. Code editors are limited to writing code and don’t go beyond this step.
Common features such as code completion, highlighting sections of code, hints can share between both IDE and code editors, while choosing either an IDE or code editor is a matter of personal preference.
One of the best IDE that been designed to make those developers who work with PHP a bit better, PhpStorm is more than a code as its a full IDE for PHP, its means that you get debugging, version control, for example, Git, testing, error checking, intuitive code navigation and more inside the software itself rather than having to keep multiple apps for each task.
PhpStorm surpasses in almost every area that an IDE consists of. PhpStorm interface is clean, and the IDE itself feels notably more lightweight than it is, moreover there’s support for heaps of frameworks.
If you work with WordPress, Drupal, Laravel, Magento and fundamentally if you work in PHP, probably your framework is supported.
- Incredibly fast
- Supports WordPress, Drupal, Joomla!, Magento, and Laravel, so all major frameworks.
- easy remote deployment
- testing, debugging, and profiling for external apps
- support for recent versions of PHP
- intuitive autocomplete and code assistance
- version control with GitHub, SVN, Mercurial, and more
- SQL editor and DB tools
- Works with Windows, Mac & Linux
It lets you bind code snippets to keyboard shortcuts for easy reuse so that you don’t waste time writing code you have already done, it has integrated features that you find in an IDE like FTP. WeBuilder is a lightweight and fast, so it doesn’t bog you down or get slow like other tools.
- Smart autocomplete
- Support for nearly all major languages
- Extra features for HTML, CSS, JS, and PHP
- Built-in debugger and code validator
- Easy transition from other editors
- A platform specifically for Window systems
Bluefish is an IDE, so it means it could bit advanced for new users. This IDE is free, and supports pretty much any language due to it’s being open-source, and comes with a wide range of valuable features for the use across many platforms. It’s continually maintained by the community that’s built itself around this editor and can handle complex code bases.
Furthermore, you can either edit in full screen or wrap the text as you wanted, moreover, the search and replace tool keeps everything tidy. While Bluefish supports secure connections, so you don’t need to worry about having a separate FTP client, as you can work on your websites and repo’s remotely within Bluefish.
- It’s lightweight
- Support multiple document interface
- FTP/SFTP/HTTP/HTTPS/and more
- Snippets sidebar
- Works with Linux, Mac, Solaris and Windows
Visual Studio Code (or commonly known as VS Code), this code editor ben quickly become the standard for many software developers, since being released back in 2015. Like most products you find from Microsoft these days, VS Code is available on all platforms. While VS Code isn’t an IDE but it can take on most of the tasks that you can find in an IDE with the right configuration and plugin library.
With the VS Code community, there are amazingly passionate, and that works well for everyone’s benefit. As VS Code being open source, the community works hard to keep VS Code competitive with the rest code editors you’ll find throughout the internet. VS Code has been written in Node.js and Electron, so you can be sure the code won’t be outdated or lag behind.
- Cross-platform works on Windows, Linux, Mac.
- Built-in Git
- In-editor debugging
- Huge library of extensions and plugins
- Compatible with most languages.
- IntelliSense highlighting and autocomplete works like a dream
- Quick and responsive
A project started by GitHub, Atom has placed itself as one of the premiere code editors. One of the best parts is that it is free, open-source, and highly customisable. Atom is built around a minimal core, it comes with multiple language-specific packages built-in, and a library of community-developed has exploded through the years since Atom was first released.
This code editor is as robust as you need it to be, so if the editor does not do something you’ll need, then you can just create the feature yourself. It allows multiple developers to work on the same code from remote locations.
- File system browser
- Multiple platforms from Mac, Linux & Windows
- Fuzzy finder for quickly opening files
- Project-wide search and replace
- Multiple cursors, selections and panes
- Code Snippets
- Highly extendable
Brackets is a free and open-source editor. Brackets is developed by Adobe. The product developers of Photoshop, Illustrator.
It’s developed to be minimal but yet powerful. However, it offer some unique and useful features. One features being Extract, which is a tool which allows you to extract information such as colours, fonts, gradients, measurements directly from PSDs as clean CSS which is great for those front-end developers who works in a design agency who have to recreate pixel-perfect sites from mock-ups.
- The constantly growing library of extensions
- Git integration
- W3C validation
- Massive extension library
- Live preview
- Works on Windows, Linux and Mac
- And more