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IDE or Editor?

I've no answer for this question yet! How can I get myself to like an IDE?

Generally, I like to type in code using my favorite editor, VIM with no frills in the Window. Since at any given week, I’ve to look into (or write) code written in atleast 4 languages - at the moment, the master pool of languages I work with consists of Python, Perl, VBScript, Zope Page Templates, DTML, HTML, SQL and PL/SQL, Javascript, CSS, Bash/KSH - I’m pretty attached to using VIM. Problem is that most IDEs, with their 3 pane layout, toolbars, floating/docking icons create claustrophobia. How to like an IDE?

I’ve been trying to use SciTE because it is easy to carry around in a floppy. It is not an IDE, but it is really good for code viewing and fixing. I still resort to VIM, if I’ve to write new code.

I like PythonWin, mainly because it can expand module.function as you type in code. This saves some trips to the documentation.

I tried to use Eclipse. Since I don’t have GTK2 in my machine, I had to use the Motif version. It was unstable (no fault of Eclipse’s), so I’m going to wait till Mandrake 9 comes out with GTK2.

Yesterday, I tried using NetBeans. It was reasonable. I will have to read the manual (*sigh*) to figure out what all these menu items are.

I tried using DreamWeaver, but found that I keep editing HTML in source mode more often. So I dropped it in favour of VIM. I use HTML-Kit at times for HTML editing.

I learn languages by looking at the manual, or book, or online tutorial and then by typing in 2-3 examples. Then I pick a small project and code it using the new language. Problem is that, learning a language using an IDE doesn’t happen. Personally I think it is a good thing, because I’ve seen too many HTML programmers out there who are DreamWeaver experts, but are not able to modify the HTML source in emergency situations. I may be missing out on productivity by not using IDEs.

Readers who use and love their IDEs, how did you start liking an IDE? Did having an IDE impact and speed up your learning process of new technology? Often, I find that learning a language is easier than learning its IDE!

I’ve been planning to sit down and do some project in Java. Since there are lots of IDEs out there, I want to do the project using one. What I’ve in mind is something that uses Swing, JDBC, XML and probably Servlets.