Moving away from Visual Studio/Resharper?
February 25, 2014 7:13 AM   Subscribe

I've been using Visual Studio/Resharper for years, for whatever reason I've been determined to break my reliance on it, or at least prove I can work without it. I've been working in more node applications and thought it'd be a good reason to get out of it. Can I really get an equivalent experience out of Sublime/VIM/emacs? How do I do that?

I don't use most of Visual Studio's feature set and I'm fairly command line oriented. However, I do like having a "project" level view of everything and being able to F12 and go to methods or find implementations. I also like the ability to bring in dependencies by only creating an instance of a class (Resharper/Visual Studio will prompt me to include a using statement). Oh, and the interactive debugger.

I've tried using Sublime for awhile but it doesn't quite feel as holistic as Visual Studio. I feel as if I'm missing something. Can I get other text editors to an IDE level or is what I'm after something only a robust IDE can provide?

I realize this is a bit of a broad question and it'd be better if I listed every feature I enjoy with VS/Resharper, but I thought in general where should I start. There's so many extensions/packages to other text editors that I'm having a hard time getting a starter pack of sorts going. I'm okay without most these features on a small project, but get killed in larger projects.
posted by geoff. to Computers & Internet (4 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
When I moved to open source I picked Komodo, mainly because I could get the same experience (or close to) on Mac & Windows. I've never found an IDE close to as powerful or well-built as Visual Studio, but the flip side of that (as your question seems to suggest) is that a lot of what it offers are only useful if you're working in a Microsoft language (though there are add-ons for things like Python). I like Komodo as a balance between pure text editor and full-featured IDE (while avoiding the bare-bones text editor with a million plugins to turn it into an IDE).

Eclipse drives me insane because it seemed to want to divorce the Project view from a direct file-system mapping entirely. Komodo offers a Project, but it's just a wrapper on top of the file system that you can use if you want. I work in Python and the things the Project view offers are the ability to tie to virtualenvs, project-specific settings for files and some auto-formatting. There's a free version called Komodo Edit that offers most of the important stuff so you can test drive it. The paid version adds source code control, refactoring, etc.

A lot of other devs swear by JetBrains and I see they have a JavaScript-specific IDE that might also be worth checking out.
posted by yerfatma at 8:06 AM on February 25

If you're writing C# or other compiled language that uses Microsoft API's then you're probably not going to find a comfortable replacement.

Emacs has amazing depth but it's built up over a long time with aficionados that can deal with the idiosyncrasies. Tags/CTags will give good access to methods but can be a bit of work to set up depending on the language. Again depending on the language integration with a debugger is not bad (probably with a big on Unix caveat). There is no one place for emacs documentation but there is a lot of good info with just a bit of searching.
posted by sammyo at 9:11 AM on February 25

Visual Studio is the best IDE that exists, and I'm saying that as someone who hates windows development and has used emacs for over 20 years. If you like it, you are not going to be happy with the typical text editor workflow. The simple answer is that you cannot make Vim/Emacs/Sublime do what Visual Studio does.
posted by BabeTheBlueOX at 12:48 PM on February 25

If you enjoy Resharper, use some of the other JetBrains IDE tols.

*RubyMine (Ruby)
*AppCode (Mac,iOS)
*IntelliJ (Java)
*PyCharm (Python)

In Eclipse it is possible to do most things VS/Resharper does, but not as elegantly.

I've done my share of text editor/compiler developing and it's not the same.
That model of development is not one tool to rule them all (VS style), but 20 tools that do some things.
posted by patrickje at 11:57 AM on February 26

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