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Recently I have decided to get into coding, I will be attempting (operative word) Java. I have no real idea at present what I will be making, or what real requirements I will have as yet, but that is besides the point - I want to know what text editor covers the following:

  • Has a supportive GUI environment with code completion for users;
  • Formats code for ease of use (e.g.: HTML tags are colored where text is white);
  • Allows for alteration between language dependant on the save file type (don't ignore echo if the file is saved as .bat for example).

Now I have installed (but not tested) Notepad++ (which works well for HTML and CSS, so should work well with Java), Aptana Studio 3 and Sublime Text. I have no background doing program coding in any of these applications, so I cannot justify any pros or cons on this.

As far as the GUI and Palette go for Sublime and Aptana they work wonderfully, however Notepad++ does this too.

Please suggest what programs you use for programming, the pro and cons of such applications and why you recommend them. Nothing technical needs to be supplied in this request, just personal experience and the heads up.

  • For which operating system? – unor May 18 '15 at 22:40
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    Well I currently have Win7/8/10 but also use Ubuntu/Linux. The brunt of my work in Windows 8.1. – DankyNanky May 19 '15 at 1:41
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Sublime and Notepad++ are both good all-around editors. Sublime is more coding friendly than Notepad++ (I use Notepad++ heavily for almost all my text editing needs other than coding).

But if you plan on coding java and some other languages compliments with java, you really need to consider a real IDE which does more than coloring and intelli-sense codes. You need to build and debug your programs, add libraries etc.

So, i would highly recommend trying Eclipse (http://www.eclipse.org/). Which is lightweight at start, if you want there are zillions of addons that makes most the things way easier.

And another good alternative is Netbeans (https://netbeans.org/).

Edit: As its mentioned in comments, IntelliJ IDEA is a solid alternative too. Having a free community edition so definitely a need to try.

I would recommend to give those a try first.

  • Thank you for the response. I understand I will need to build the program and debug, so the IDE would be a necessity. I will look into these applications as a test. Thanks! – DankyNanky May 12 '15 at 6:29
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    @MichaelNancarrow - another IDE that gains poularity in IntelliJ IDEA. – PM 77-1 May 14 '15 at 2:48
  • I thought given IntelliJ IDEA as a recommendation but as far as i know its a commercial product. Just checked again and saw it has a community edition, seems i missed that completely. It is one of the best IDEs out there so really deserves a shot. Thanks for input. – ouzture May 14 '15 at 6:25
  • @ouzture I have installed and tested this and love it! It really does cover 90% of what I need. This is a very good application and yes, community edition is free. – DankyNanky May 18 '15 at 22:47
  • @ouzture: Note that you may edit your answer to include the community edition of IntelliJ IDEA, if you want to recommend it :) – unor May 19 '15 at 7:17
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Sublime, Notepad++, Emacs, TextPad are all simple editors and a good way to get started. I don't know how well they support code completition but they should all support coloring of tags, variables and reserved words in programming languages.

Personally i quickly switched to a more heavyweight IDE starting with NetBeans then Eclipse and finally IntelliJ IDEA. These all support code completition, easily refractor your code (extracting code snippets into a method, changing the name of all occurences of a variable, generating getters and setters, etc.) and compiling and running programs from within the IDE (no messing around in command line to compile and run).

Personal preference is different for everyone so I suggest you at least try out a couple of these and get a feel for it to understand how they work.

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