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Best Mac text-editor to replace Homesite on a PC?
November 19, 2009 10:04 AM   Subscribe

For years I've been using Homesite on a PC, which was a great text editor. Now I've switched to Mac and all the text editors I find pale in comparison, despite the fact that Homesite hasn't been updated in years. Help me find one that I'll like.

For years I've been using Homesite on a PC, which was a great text editor. Now I've switched to Mac and all the programmer's text editors I find pale in comparison, despite the fact that Homesite hasn't been updated in years. I've already checked out TextMate, Komodo, and Coda. Here's what I'm looking for, in order of preference:

- Easy way to browse and move between files - Specifically, I want the folders in a window at the top, and the files in a window below, like this. TextMate and Komodo mix them all up into a single tree, and on a project with thousands of files it makes it painful to navigate amongst different files. Worse, in TextMate you can't even click on a folder's name to open it, you have to aim for the little tiny triangle thingy. I can't find a single editor for Mac that presents file this way, aside from Komodo which offers this as a plugin that locks up the editor at random times.
- Ability to use non-anti-aliased text - I don't like looking at aliased text while I'm programming.
- Reasonably user-friendly - I don't want to learn arcane commands and key sequences, so vi and emacs are out.
- Decent multi-file search and replace.

That's about it. I'm flexible with all the other features, though the closer to Homesite the better. I'm using this for programming rather than HTML, so HTML-specific features aren't that important to me.
posted by lsemel to Travel & Transportation (21 answers total) 9 users marked this as a favorite
 
The most acceptable Mac text editor I've found is Jedit, which is a java-based application. It has lots of plugins that I think do what you want.

On the downside, it is a little bit crashy and a little bit ugly. YMMV, and I myself plan to watch this thread and see if there are any better suggestions.
posted by contrarian at 10:18 AM on November 19, 2009


I think BBEdit is the only other major player in the OS X text editor field that you haven't looked at yet. I know a bunch of folks who swear by it. Bare Bones also makes TextWrangler, which is free. Not sure if these meet your requirements, but they're both worth trying out.
posted by aparrish at 10:32 AM on November 19, 2009 [1 favorite]


I really like Xpad.
posted by mixer at 10:42 AM on November 19, 2009


I too was a long-time Homesite Fan (and before that ColdFusion Studio). I went kicking and screaming to Dreamweaver when I switched to mac. To make it less cumbersome I only use it in code view, never use the site control and strip down the palletes to the barebones. What's left is very, very close to HomeSite. I still like Homesite better, but it is likely the simplest transition you could make from HomeSite.
posted by blackjack514 at 10:48 AM on November 19, 2009


Former Homesite user here. You nix textmate, but... I have Textmate and ProjectsPlus installed.

In the sidebar in ProjectsPlus I can right click and put folders on top (didn't know about this until I decided to see if it was an option, so thanks). You might be able to do this without RegEx, I'm not sure.

Find and replace for Textmate seems good too. RegEx if need be.

I miss the split screen sometimes.

Not sure about the anti-aliased text thing, but there might be a font you can choose that achieves the same thing.

It does a lot of things I love that I don't think Homesite did. Column Edit (or whatever it might be called where you can vertically edit more than one line at the same time) is great.
posted by backwards guitar at 10:57 AM on November 19, 2009


Oh, there's also a button in the Font Preferences for Textmate to disable anti-aliasing. Under where you choose your font.
posted by backwards guitar at 11:03 AM on November 19, 2009


Definitely BBEdit.

It's the first program I miss when using Windows.
posted by rokusan at 11:05 AM on November 19, 2009


I have found Coda to be everything I've wanted as far as text-editor/dev-environment are concerned. Third-party plugins available. Might not have everything you're looking for but it's worth a try...
posted by jofuu at 11:05 AM on November 19, 2009 [2 favorites]


Textmate is deeper than it looks like. Suggest you re-evaluate it.
posted by krilli at 11:11 AM on November 19, 2009


Have you thought about Eclipse?
posted by ph00dz at 11:28 AM on November 19, 2009


Aquamacs may be emacs, but it's pretty, friendly, yet has that deep-down grunt that only emacs can provide.
posted by scruss at 12:08 PM on November 19, 2009


BBEdit is the go-to editor for mac hackers. Me, I use emacs but that's because I'm a multiplatform whore. As for text rendering, I suggest you go grab Anonymous Pro which has outline and bitmap fonts and is cross platform.

It might actually be cheaper to get VMWare or Parallels, then run your favorite editor under a guest OS.
posted by chairface at 12:13 PM on November 19, 2009


Ah, Homesite, you blast from the past. I hear you- there's just something about the way that app is organized that nothing else has been able to quite replicate on the Mac side. I think BBEdit may speak to you the most, but I echo the sentiments to revisit TextMate. It's really, really great.

chairface: It might actually be cheaper to get VMWare or Parallels, then run your favorite editor under a guest OS.

I thought about this, as I do 99% of my dev work in Visual Studio via Parallels on my Mac. It's a lot of overhead to run for a text editor, though...
posted by mkultra at 12:57 PM on November 19, 2009


lsemel: Specifically, I want the folders in a window at the top, and the files in a window below, like this. TextMate and Komodo mix them all up into a single tree

It is most likely not that TextMate and Komodo (or any other application) choose to do so, but that they are merely adopting the Mac operating system's way of doing things – which is mixed up into a single tree. I'm not wild about that particular methodology, either. But it also means that you may find it especially hard to find a text editor that has that division, as it means the programmer would've had to specially counterprogram against the operating system's natural behavior.
posted by WCityMike at 2:09 PM on November 19, 2009


I haven't been able to give up HomeSite, which is why I'm running XP with Parallels. That and the ability to proof pages while I'm working on them. Believe me, I've looked, and there's nothing that matches the instant gratification of working in HomeSite. Dreamweaver is to poky, bloated, and crashy for me. It needs a diet and a good UI redesign. Most of the gripes I have are with the different approaches to workflow that all of the other apps require, and that I can't stomach. I'll take another look at TextMate, though.
posted by idiotking at 8:02 PM on November 19, 2009


You will be hard pressed to turn off antialiasing anywhere on your Macintosh. It is technically possible at the application level, but rarely done, and when you encounter it the reason is often because it’s an old Carbon application (like versions of DataComet before the current one).

BBEdit can show you directories of files in several ways, including a useful project view that enables you to group noncontiguous files together. Of course you can just double-click a folder in any such listing.

BBEdit has multifile search and replace with GREP.

It takes a while to arrive at settings you can really live with on BBEdit. To start with, default fonts are atrocious, even given your stated constraints (which merit investigation and are not uncommon among programmers; you may be colourblind and not know it). But so much is customizable that once you’ve got things fully dialled in, you won’t want to leave.
posted by joeclark at 1:06 PM on November 20, 2009


I come from Crimson Editor on the PC side, and absolutely loved it. Column editting allows me to work with huge data sets, and I can easily clean them up using Crimson. Also, the macro feature makes life quick and easy.

Now that I am OSX based, I too have searched for a text editor of the quality, speed and just good ole' logic that CE provided. I tried TextWrangler, but found it obstructive and more oriented to programmers than to me.

That having been said, maybe if you are a programmer TextWrangler is your date.

I guess I will have to keep an eye on this thread. I would prefer Crimson for OSX though.
posted by fox_terrier_guy at 10:06 AM on November 25, 2009


Textmate would be marginally acceptable if I could just click on a folder to open it. But no, it completely ignores clicking on a folder, and you have to twiddle the little arrow thing and wait for it to animate. And do so for each level, once the folder you twiddled with opens and there are more folders underneath it. I thought the Mac had a reputation for good software design, but this is ridiculously inane.
posted by lsemel at 8:04 PM on November 25, 2009


Textmate would be marginally acceptable if I could just click on a folder to open it. But no, it completely ignores clicking on a folder, and you have to twiddle the little arrow thing and wait for it to animate.

As WCityMike mentioned above, this is another example of your opinion being at odds with Mac UI guidelines, not specific apps. The "Hypertext Model" of navigation is just Not The Way It's Done in apps on the Mac.

Sorry to say, if you're wed to specific functionality like that as deal breakers, you're going to have a very hard time.
posted by mkultra at 12:14 PM on November 27, 2009


Whatever the Mac UI guidelines may say, this arrangement really does decrease productivity. The extra few seconds to look at and scroll the list, repeated several times a minute over the course of a day, really do make a big difference and completely interrupts my train of thought. I think I'm going to just stick with Homesite in VMWare until something better comes along.
posted by lsemel at 6:31 PM on November 28, 2009


I've been using Textmate with Transmit to remotely manage sites for the last few years after about 7 years of Homesite use.

There is a hack to do multiple files in multiple tabs in the same window (as opposed to multiple windows). Also, I had to hand-write keystrokes in the Bundles area to match what I was used to in Homesite for quick markup writing.
posted by mathowie at 10:40 AM on December 1, 2009


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