Homesite vs. Ultraedit for general coding?
June 9, 2006 3:05 AM   Subscribe

Any thoughts on Homesite vs. UltraEdit? Looking to purchase one of them...

I know Homesite is more expensive, but thats ok since I'm looking at this as an investment. Mainly I was looking for an editor that had:
-ability to use/make code snippets (does ultra edit have them?)
-collapsible code (I think both have this)
-syntax coloring (both have this).
-code filling (where it completes code for you, like automatically putting in a closing parenthesis if you type in an opening parenthesis). I dont think either has this feature. (Back in '91 I used to use Brief (by Underware) which had that feature, which I rather liked. I think Underware is no more, sadly).

In most other features they -- Homesite and Ultraedit --seem comparable.

I know everyone has their favorite editors but I came down to a choice between these two.

I expect to code both web stuff as well as desktop apps.

So I'm looking for any other opinions on which is better or more full-featured (in useful ways). I'm a beginner but I plan to stick with it over the long haul.
posted by jak68 to Computers & Internet (11 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
I thought Homesite was a bit of a dead end investment.. having been absorbed into Dreamweaver (which by now seems to have more up-to-date syntax support for web languages).
posted by bruceyeah at 3:58 AM on June 9, 2006

I haven't used Homesite in years, but to my memory, it actually did have a feature where it would complete code for you, although I could just be dreaming that. I actually found it annoying, because 90% of my bugs were extra parentheses.

You could also try Crimson Editor. I am not entirely certain that this has every feature you're looking for, but I think it has most of them. I don't think it has a collapsible code feature. I really like it a lot, and it's certainly at a good price (it's freeware).
posted by pazazygeek at 4:31 AM on June 9, 2006

I have used UltraEdit for at least a couple of years now, and while I do use it as my primary text editor, I've noticed that it has been developing something of a gut over the years. It takes a bit longer to load, uses more resouces than I'd like, but it's still my favorite.

If you're looking to do more "serious" coding (subjective term, I know), I would recommend getting a proper IDE like Eclipse. I'm actually doing all my coding in IDEA IntelliJ right now, and prefer it to Eclipse, but Eclipse has two very compelling points in its favor:
  1. It has a very nice javascript code engine plugin
  2. It's free.
If you're just dealing with one or two files at a time, this might seem like overkill. But I've found in my own experience that using a proper IDE forces me to organize my code more clearly, which is great when I decide to expand the codebase later on.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 4:34 AM on June 9, 2006

UltraEdit certainly gets my vote between the two you're looking at seriously. Beyond those two, I second Eclipse for large projects. For a less feature-glutted editor than Eclipse that's still GPL, I suggest JEdit. I haven't used UltraEdit in about 3 years because I switched to JEdit, so I couldn't tell you what new features it has that JEdit doesn't, but JEdit certainly has all the basics (syntax highlighting, etc, etc). No collapsible code, though.
posted by Alterscape at 4:47 AM on June 9, 2006

I lived in Homesite for years and still use it as my text editor of choice, mainly because I've tweaked it to where I want it (I have a copy of UE on my machine as well because a teammate swears by it; nothing against it, I'm just used to Homesite). You can turn tag completion on in Homesite. Additionally, you can write your own button actions in JavaScript for Homesite, so anything you can think to do to text is fairly easy to do. The syntax highlighting is easy to customize through the IDE itself, though it's hard to find pre-built packages for languages that have become popular since Homesite became a dead-end at Macromedia (ASP, ColdFusion (duh), PHP sure, but Python, etc. not so much).

One caveat: if you're going to be working with international documents, foreign character sets, etc. get UltraEdit. Homesite, as of 5.5 anyway, doesn't render other character sets (unless I've missed a setting). Unicode files show the byte marker at the top of the file and it doesn't save back to Unicode (AFAIK).

Other nice Homesite features (which may or may not exist in UE): page templates, built-in explorer with a favorites folder, a number of code sweepers/ validators.
posted by yerfatma at 5:09 AM on June 9, 2006

Amazing unknown UltraEdit feature: Column Mode.

Press Alt-C to switch to column mode. Hold Shift and press the down arrow a couple of times. Start typing. Whatever you typed gets duplicated on all of the lines you selected, at the column you chose. Or, press Delete to delete the text from the lines you selected at that column.

No more Down, Home, Ctrl-V; Down, Home, Ctrl-V; Down, Home, Ctrl-V...

This one feature is so incredible I will always keep UltraEdit around.
posted by Khalad at 7:55 AM on June 9, 2006 [1 favorite]

If you want HomeSite, the program comes with a purchase of DreamWeaver. I don't think they publically mention it (or rather, make a bug fuss of it) but an installable version of HomeSite is available on any DreamWeaver CD you may have.

I use DreamWeaver for all my web-development needs, but still keep HomeSite open 75% of the time. I still love that program to death and use it many time throughout the day.
posted by punkrockrat at 10:04 AM on June 9, 2006

Response by poster: thanks for the ideas, all. mucho appreciado. ;) I'll mull it over. who knows, i might end up with dreamweaver if I can get a decent student discount... ;)
posted by jak68 at 12:29 PM on June 9, 2006

I've been using HomeSite for a couple of week and have been driven crazy by the fact that it won't let me undo after an "Extended Search and Replace".

If you ever need to do regular expression search and replace, as far as I can see, you'll need to save before each one and revert if something went wrong. That's pretty much unforgiveable in my eyes.
posted by AmbroseChapel at 2:21 PM on June 9, 2006

Whoa, Ambrose, didn't you just ask a question about svn? You shouldn't be worried about undo-after-extended-search-and-replace. And what tool does undo that?
posted by yerfatma at 5:45 PM on June 15, 2006

Another vote for jEdit, which does everything except for you "code filling".
(including Khalad's column mode which does indeed rock.)
posted by boo_radley at 11:56 AM on October 17, 2006

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