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Ben Halpern
Ben Halpern

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Which editor/IDE do you use and why?

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p0k8_ profile image
Parwat Kunwar

VS Code. I Loveeeeeeeeeeeee VS Code, well it's been nearly 6 months with vscode. In this time period i used many other editor/IDE also like atom, sublime which i previously used too before Code, I recommend this to everyone, Please have a try once....

The main keys to use VS Code:

  1. Peek View
  2. Intellisense
  3. Integrated Terminal
  4. Built-in Git
  5. Task Runner
  6. Built-In Node.js Debugger

These all features are built-in
Highly Recommended for all the JavaScript and NodeJs Developer's

There are many more awesome features...

Have a try once, code.visualstudio.com/download
You can ThankMe Later!

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ben profile image
Ben Halpern

So many folks with good things to say about VS Code. This reply put me over the edge. Just downloaded it. 🙌

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John Woodruff

Seriously it is the best editor I've ever used, and I've heavily used others including Atom, Sublime, Webstorm, etc. You won't regret it. Make sure to get some of the many amazing extensions!

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p0k8_ profile image
Parwat Kunwar • Edited

That's true.

some of the extensions i use are:

  1. .ejs - Qassim Farid
  2. ESLint - Dirk Baeumer
  3. npm Intellisense - Christian Kohler
  4. path Intellisense - Christian Kohler
  5. VSCode Great Icons - Emmanuel Beziat
  6. Project Manager - Alessandro Fragnani
  7. Quokka.js - Wallaby.js
  8. TODO Highlight - Wayou Liu
  9. vscode-icons - Roberto Huertas

I don't use any snippets, Love to write code myself or just love to do CTRL+C and CTRL+V

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qimingfang profile image
Qiming Fang

VS Code also has really good support for TypeScript and tslint!

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Autumn Sprout

Similar discussion on the Issues page of Atom's GitHub repo pushed me over the edge. True story.

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p0k8_ profile image
Parwat Kunwar

You didn't thank me Ben.

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Eoin Murphy

Has anyone used VS Code on Mac? Just curious to see if it's worth looking into. Also heard amazing things about the built-in intellisense, is it really that good?

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p0k8_ profile image
Parwat Kunwar

VS Code on Mac is just Awesome.

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tribex profile image
Joshua Bemenderfer

Atom here as well, the quality, flexibility and availability of packages for practically everything, as well as the low learning curve for making your own totally won me over. The sub-par startup speed has also become largely insignificant after I switched to an SSD.

Currently I have around 78 community packages installed. Might need to go through and cull that list sometime.

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ben profile image
Ben Halpern

Which packages would you recommend?

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tribex profile image
Joshua Bemenderfer

mumbles incoherently about having to do anything on New Years Day

  • aligner - Align text in customiseable ways with support for lots of filetypes.
  • All the linters
  • autocomplete-modules - Autocomplete require/import statements.
  • browser-plus - A bit glitchy, but an embedded browser. With HMR or livereload, it makes it really easy to develop webapps in one window.
  • color-picker - Inline color picker, really great for CSS work, but works with a variety of color formats. I contributed to it a bit.
  • pigments - Highlights color values in text with the color they represent. Works with CSS preprocessors as well.
  • colorful-json - Makes reading JSON a tiny bit easier. double-tag - Keeps HTML opening and closing tags in sync when editing them.
  • git-time-machine - Visually interact with git commit history for a file.
  • imdone-atom - Turns TODOs and FIXMEs into a kanban-board style interface. minimap - Because minimap.
  • platformio-ide-terminal - A pretty good embedded terminal.
  • project-manager - Makes it easy to load and switch between projects.
  • regex-railroad-diagram - Visual display of regexes as a railroad diagram. Really helps avoid trial-and-error.
  • wakatime - For when you want to know all your code statistics.

And probably a few more.

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ben profile image
Ben Halpern

Great list, you rock, Joshua! I use a few of these. I'm not sure how I could survive without color-picker.

Of course, the only truly necessary Atom package is Activate Power Mode

Activate Turbo Mode

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tribex profile image
Joshua Bemenderfer

Indeed, color picker, especially combined with pigments, is awesome.

Ah yes, activate-power-mode. Sometimes I use that when I'm feeling really demotivated. It works wonders.

Great topic idea by the way, thanks! It's nice to see what everyone else's setups are, so that I can steal ideas for mine. xD

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Darryl Norris

I used to use Atom as my primary editor. However, I have experience that if you use many packages the editor can get very very slow. Also, editing huge files can take forever processing. For instance there is a file that have over 10k lines of code and I click return and it takes 5 - 10 seconds before the editor response.

For these reason, I have it installed as vanilla and use it for quick/simple editing.

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ben profile image
Ben Halpern

Yes, that can be very frustrating. Sometimes I'll accidentally click on a huge file from the drawer and the whole editor just freezes.

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tribex profile image
Joshua Bemenderfer

Aye, that can indeed be a pain. That said, I haven't had much need to open large files, and in my experience it's not slow with those unless it's doing syntax highlighting on them.

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Bogdan Bugarschi

proton-mode is really nice if you're into emacs+vim but can't be bothered to learn either :)

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Mohamed Oun

I mostly use JetBrains IDEs, they're absolutely amazing and provide everything you can ask for, and I'm taking advantage of the free version for students too which is nice. I think I'll switch to the community editions once I graduate, or hopefully I'd find a good free alternative. I just don't like text editors, they feel too barebones.

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Paul

JetBrains builds awesome IDEs. I'm just totally confused when it comes to their seperation of IDEs. I'd say there isn't a single person on this planet that can fully explain the difference of all their IDEs.

Why not just build a single modular one?

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Robert Hencke

They do build a singular, modular one, that is effectively the union of all their other language-specific IDEs - IntelliJ IDEA Ultimate.

The difference between their IDEs (other than branding) really just boils down to "Which plug-ins am I getting with this version?". Try opening a few of their IDEs, and go to the plug-ins section of the settings, and compare what comes pre-installed.

In many ways, this really isn't so different from the Eclipse model, where Eclipse offers you an "Eclipse IDE for Java EE Developers", an "Eclipse IDE for C/C++ Developers", etc. As with Eclipse, the difference is just which plug-ins you're getting out of the box.

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Riley Guerin

There are differences. Important ones.

When I'm developing a rails app, I need Rake tasks but not Maven.

It is possible to do everything within Ultimate but if you're really diving into something like Rails and there is RubyMine, I recommend using RM.

Gogland has been much better for Go dev than IntelliJ. It just feels more natural. E.g The first option in lists like New file... is relevant to Go not Java.

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Ben Halpern

Do you routinely switch between different JetBrains IDEs with different languages/environments or do you typically work with one most of the time?

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Chris Pouliot

I use IntelliJ Ultimate and it comes with all the language support from the other JetBrains IDEs. It's great since I never have to switch editors.

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Mohamed Oun

Yeah. I use PyCharm for Python, IntelliJ for Java and WebStorm for Javascript. They're all very neat.

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Bryan Naegele

Spacemacs. Still learning it but I got sick and tired of Atom eating up multiple GBs of RAM and needing to crash or restart it every few hours. Yes, it's "probably a plugin" but I decided learning Spacemacs finally was worth more of an effort vs continuing to mess with it. Needed an excuse and got a good one.

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hpathiraja

Also switched to spacemacs. Pretty great so far!

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Khoa Le

I also made the switch to spacemacs from vsc a few weeks ago and I have to say the experience is positively different =)

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Casen

Me too. Long-time VIM user, but was wooed over to spacemacs because of evil mode. I really enjoy having the best of both worlds. Spacemacs is a lot more powerful than VIM in many ways, but it is a lot slower to load.

There are still some things missing for me, and some things I am still not sure how to do, maybe you know?

1) Easily switch between "frames" or "tabs"? In vim I would use tabs that had a collection of windows inside so I could easily create visual separation between coding tasks in the same project. I'm sure spacemacs can support this, but I have yet to figure out a good way to do it besides looking up previous buffers

2) Automatically kill text buffers that are not open. If I leave my computer on and do a lot of work across projects, I will accumulate a million buffers. I would rather this just pruned itself automatically

3) Project separation? I wish there was a simple way to setup my desired shell/window layout and have it work seamlessly when I switch projects. I work with a lot of micro services, and I have some node, some python, some pure front-end react, and I have different editing needs for each, and I need to have them all open in an editor at the same time. In VIM, I just used ITerm to create this separation for me, but it's proving difficult in spacemacs, which leads me to do half my work in the terminal, and the other half purely in spacemacs.

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Sam Pillsworth

I'm also a spacemacs user, I might be able to help a little bit!

1) Look into layouts. It "comes for free" with the standard spacemac setup I believe. SPC l will get you to the main layouts menu. I think they function very similarly to tabs. I've saved a standard layout to a file, so I load it when I start spacemacs. (Mine is pretty simple, just a development tab and an org-mode/notes tab)

2) SPC b m will kill all buffers other than the one that is currently in focus. I am pretty sure that this WILL kill buffers that are open in other windows. My preference is to use SPC b b to open the buffer list, and select buffers that I want to kill with C-SPC (this select the buffer), then I can kill all selected buffers with M-D (alt shift d).

3) I'm not really sure what you mean here. You could set up a layout, and have different tabs for each of these editing environments? Unless you mean that you need a shell to run code/tests? Spacemacs can open shell buffers which might help, or you might want to look into layers with the functionality you need. I'm mainly a scala dev lately, and the spacemacs scala layer has great sbt support so I can run tests very easily for whatever buffer I'm in, and changing projects is painless.

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Roger

ActiveState Komodo Edit. activestate.com/komodo-edit

It uses (used to use?) the Scintilla text editor component, which I was a huge fan of when it was released in the SciTE editor ages ago.

Komodo Edit is free, and has Linux, macOS and Windows versions, which means I can have a familiar environment no matter what OS I happen to be working in. It seems to be relatively unknown, for some reason, but it's really solid.

I tried Atom but it had a little too much latency for me, and a few bugs, so I gave up. Maybe they've been fixed.

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Sergey Kislyakov

I use Komodo IDE as well. It still uses the Scintilla component with some custom patches (they are sending patches to upstream and merge patches from upstream) and I doubt it will use something else in the future.

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Roger

That's great to know!

Do you know if the IDE is a big step up compared to the free version?

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defman profile image
Sergey Kislyakov

They offer a 21 day trial so you could try it yourself 🙂 I were very happy with features I got when I switched from the edit version.

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Ben Halpern

Any insight into how Komodo Edit compares to Sublime?

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Enno Rehling (恩諾)

Having used both: Komodo seems a bit more sluggish at times, but it's free and open source! I realized that the thing I needed most from these graphical editors was the "Open File in Project" dialog, and a "Go To Symbol" hotkey. So anytime that comes built-in or as a simple-to-install extension, it probably works for me.

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Roger

Sublime got very popular with Mac users first (I know there are other versions now), and that's not an OS I use much, so don't know it very well. Sorry I can't help much :(

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roger_b_m profile image
Roger

One thing I should probably add for context: based on the responses here, I'd wager a lot of the posters are doing web dev, and the tool preferences (and availability, e.g. all the awesome web-oriented packages for Atom) reflect that.

Web dev is only a small percentage of what I work on, and in the past few years I've done mostly traditional server-side and ops tech (Python, Java, SQL, Ruby, chef/ansible/fabric automation, AWS policies and templates, Docker, bash), "big data" and "data science" (SQL, R, Hadoop, etc), and maybe 10% JS, HTML and CSS. For that reason (maybe?) I've tended to a) use general-purpose tools that work well enough out of the box for all the tech I use, b) be portable across OSes (though many are today, which is awesome) and c) not spend a ton of time customizing those tools/add-ons, because there would be just too much work to do.

Now I just customize fonts, a few colors and indent settings, and with Komodo Edit I'm good to go, even on a borrowed laptop without access to my saved profile.

Of course, when a file has to be done on the server or it's a quickie I need in my terminal session, vim is my go-to.

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John Woodruff

VS Code for sure! Absolutely love it! The Intellisense for TypeScript especially but excellent support for JavaScript as well as many other languages! So much faster than Atom particularly when opening very large files. Also I found Atom had far too many package errors too often, something I haven't ever seen with VS Code. I also prefer it over Sublime Text for several reasons: It's totally free, I don't have to pay $70 for it. Also I find it to be a far more modern experience. It also has monthly updates that significantly improve the experience each time, and there's a fantastic extension community. And all of those editors are better than Webstorm, which is far too clunky and slow of an experience for me.

I've heavily used Sublime, Atom, and Webstorm in the past so I based my decision very much off of experience.

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brianroy78

Visual Studio Code of course, I develop web applications in a python framework called tornado, I used to program in pycharm but it does not supports template syntax of tornado and when i tried vsc and when i realized that there is actually a plugin that supports it
I was surprised, visual studio has so many extensions and many others good stuffs, just great!.

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Jordi Riera

I am programming mainly in Python.

I used to use Vim for years. While vim is awesome, I needed an IDE to manage projects and more advanced features like relations between files or debugger. Pycharm is really at the top of the game for that. The debugger is doing charms.
Additionally, there is a vim mode to keep best of both worlds!

I did pass by sublime, but it is too close too Vim for me. The management of project wasn't good enough for me.

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Marcin K

In Sublime I use github.com/randy3k/ProjectManage
I can switch between projects in below second and manage a lot projects.

For python there is excellent damnwidget.github.io/anaconda/

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Promise Ogbonna

Vim emulation for VScode is not really there 😣

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ben profile image
Ben Halpern

Do you use the free or paid version of Pycharm?

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Jordi Riera

I did both.
After a year I switch to the paid version. The paid version gives some additional features like coverage, connection to database, templates languages like jinja2.
Worth features for my quest to a project manager IDE.

On top of it, other IDE from JetBrain are the same, was super easy for me to use Ruby, Go and C# based IDEs.

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Nick Craver

I use several. For my use, I find each has a set of use cases it's strongly suited for:

Sublime (via context menu): useful for single files or scratch areas, because the launch speed is so much faster than VS Code (~10x a few months ago). Hot file save and new tabs for quick notes you don't want to persist to an actual file are very handy. Addons: Package Manager, Material Theme (+ AppBar), Pretty JSON, and language specific extensions like Cisco, Go, Jekyll, Markdown Preview, PowerShell, Puppet, Sass, and Varnish.

VS Code (via context menu or CLI: code .): useful for entire repos/directories, searching across those structures, and actual builds for .NET Core. Also very useful for Go editing and debugging. Available on both macOS and Windows which is a huge plus on the laptop. Recently gained hot file saving like Sublime which is attractive but not quite there yet. Addons: C#, MSBuild Tools, Output Colorizer, PowerShell, Settings Sync (syncs settings via a GitHub Gist), and vscode-icons.

Beyond Compare (via context menu): useful for comparing 2 directories, files, etc. Also very useful for 3-way merges, image comparisons, etc. Very reasonably priced and available on Windows, macOS, and Linux.

Visual Studio 2015/2017 (via start menu pin list or CLI: .sln file): Daily IDE for .NET projects (editing, building, debugging, etc.), far more powerful than any others but insanely heavy and overkill for small/quick projects of investigations (like a file grep in a solution, which VS Code is quicker to launch and accomplish).

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jess profile image
Jess Lee

Anything to be aware of mentally when switching between editors?

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Nick Craver

I rarely switch, a given task usually stays within an editor. As far as different behavior between editors, I find most of them behave the same in terms of command access...except when changing between Windows and macOS. I've hidden VS Code with Ctrl+Shift+H so, so many times.

I find that the very small and fast mental cost of choosing the editor up front is the main mental switch involved. After that the features are just better for the scenario. For example, the file tree (with vscode-icons) is far better in VS Code than Sublime (IMO). Visual Studio doesn't even show a file tree, it's a solution tree. It has an open directory mode in 2017, but it's far slower to start up and generally it's not worth the cost for whatever task I'm trying to do in such a scenario.

Visual Studio is also not as versatile for multi-lingual setups - and I'm hopping around many systems in my role at Stack. For example when I'm doing Puppet, network configs, DNS, Node.js, Go, etc. VS Code just works...and works pretty well. Since you can define build actions in the repo, it's very easy to have one editor where "building" does what you want across so many things. Extremely handy quick editor.

Contrast that with "I just want to take a note" or "I just want to edit one file" - you want to minimize your overhead which (by a much larger percentage) is now startup cost. Sublime 3 wins there, by a huge margin. It's also one window pane rather than many. It's simply optimized for it all around. Note: you can open a directory in Sublime, but it's pretty raw and just a directory browser in the left pane. But, you can open several if that suits your workflow.

This is just additional reasoning and examples of why I choose the editor I do for the scenarios listed in my post above. Hopefully that better explains the upfront context switch decision, in order to avoid many more down the road.

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pim profile image
Pim

Thumbs up x 100000 on this. I work in entirely same fashion, with perhaps a slightly strong emphasis on Visual Studio.

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Michael Schaarschmidt

I use vi, vim or neovim since more then 20 years.

Since about one year I use Emacs with Spacemacs. For me it is the most comfortable way to use vim.

The main reason is that it's fast, I love modal editing and to move around with h-j-k-l is part of my DNA. In every other editor the first thing I search for is a vim plugin - and by the end of the day I switch back ...

Plugins I don't want to live without are

  • swiper for search in files
  • Ag for search in projects
  • relative line numbering

Over the years I had a bunch of plugins - but I moved more and more to the default features of vim, so I can work with every vim out of the box.

I am very close to command line. I use (n)vim in iterm2 (not GVim) and/or emac(sclient) in iterm2 - together with tmux.

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mte90 profile image
Daniele Scasciafratte

Netbeans for PHP and JavaScript stuff (also nodejs), Spyder for Python and Kate for Bash and fast editing.

The first because it's a full IDE with everything I need with plugins for other integrations.
Spyder it's perfect for python because support many tools and is high focused in that.
Kate because on KDE it's fast and simple.

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Forest Hoffman

I've used quite a few editors over the years and I'd say that I enjoy using Sublime Text 3 for the vast majority of my work. I'm a web developer, so my projects are PHP and JavaScript based. Therefore, I don't need a bulky IDE with a compiler.

Sublime's performance and options for customization has me hooked. I've been using it for a year or two now, so I have my workflow ironed out now. All the tricks and shortcuts feel intuitive and effortless. Among others, packages like Origami (achieving functionality similar to GNU's screen command) and GitGutter (git diff indicators in each file's gutter) make development much more enjoyable.

I tried Atom back when it was first ramping up and the experience was similar, but not on par with Sublime.

For compiled languages, I'd say that Visual Studio is fairly solid. I used it extensively for a C++ asteroids clone (using SFML) and wasn't burned by the experience. For any future work of that kind, I think I would use Visual Studio.

Hypothetically speaking, if I were to say that I use nano for headless server work, would I be allowed to keep my developer card? Hypothetically, of course...

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lefebvre profile image
Paul Lefebvre

Xojo for most things. From single source you can compile native Windows, Mac and Linux desktop apps. Plus it can also make compiled web apps and native iOS apps. I also keep Visual Studio around on Windows and Xcode on Mac, of course but they can be such a pain to use.

I mostly use TextWrangler on Mac, but VS Code has been getting more use lately. I use Versions with Subversion and SourceTree with Git, both with Kaleidoscope for diffs. And VMware Fusion for testing apps on multiple platforms.

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ben profile image
Ben Halpern

Wow, I'd never heard of Xojo. It's seems like a whole different take on the process.

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lefebvre profile image
Paul Lefebvre

Yes. For many folks it is a different, and hopefully easier, take on software development.

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tonytalkstech profile image
Tony Morris

As a primarily .NET developer, I live within Visual Studio 2015 all day. Upgrading to 2017 this month, however. Work pays for the MSDN licensing.

For all other files, I use Sublime, basically because of inertia. I don't do anything special, but I love the packages. I played around with Atom, but it was way too slow back when I used it.

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Ben Halpern

Any thoughts about using Visual Studio Code for your "all other files" work? I'm not at all familiar with that ecosystem, but it kind of seems like VS Code is trying to be there for the kind of work you do with Sublime.

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tonytalkstech profile image
Tony Morris

I'm not against VS Code. I tried it in the past and it didn't do anything that Sublime couldn't, so it's a hard shift for me. I think I'm up for a Sublime/Atom/Viscose face off in the new year. Stay tuned!

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signez profile image
Stan S. 🥐

RubyMine for Ruby/Rails, and Atom for everything else.

I happily pay for my annual subscription for all the JetBrains IDE pack: they are so smart and save me so much time that it cancels out the (rare) occasions it may be slower than Atom.

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foutoucour profile image
Jordi Riera

What are you doing outside of RubyMine?

I am using pycharm and I am rarely outside of it. Only cases I find myself working with vim is for quick (and dirty) edition.

What about you?

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