I'm An Editor Waffler, Part II

In a post earlier this week I had talked about the fact that I have turned into an "editor waffler", paralyzed with fear that I couldn't decide on what editor to use for my day-to-day use. I had promised that by the end of the week I would reveal what editor I've decided on using. But before I talk about that, I wanted to talk some more about my thoughts on why I can't decide.

I had prepared a really long blog post to answer this question but I started rambling and I deleted it all. It comes down to a fear of freedom. That's right, a fear of freedom. I have enlightened employers who don't care what tools I use as long as I get the job done. I'm grateful for that, so I am constantly looking for tools that meet my requirements from project to project. I think I've settled on the collection of tools that are working for me on a daily basis. Thanks to Marc Grabanski for his Arsenal of Web Development Tools post for reminding me that it's about tools that you don't fight with that help you get the job done.

Here's my personal web development stack:

  • TextMate -- built in SVN integration, syntax highlighting for all sorts of common web langauges *and* I found a plugin that highlights what files in the file drawer are under version control
  • Terminal -- still a CLI guy for a lot of tasks, especially for code generation
  • Firefox with Firebug -- if there was something as good for Safari I'd use it instead
  • CocoaMySQL -- sometimes I use the CLI client, but CocoaMySQL is the tool I use most of the time for MySQL work. I need to find one that I like as much for Postgres
  • CSSEdit -- I was so impressed at how it helped this CSS and layout n00b fix a problem, I paid for a copy

Those 5 tools are the ones I find myself using consistently, day-in and day-out. But that's not to say I don't use other things as well. I use vim for quick editing of system-level files and for editing on various remote servers. I do use Komodo when I really need to do some deep debugging, like I had to do a few weeks ago to try and figure out why an upgrade to the latest version of Code Igniter was failing for a work project (they broke their Active Record implementation when dealing with Postgres for whatever reason, please prove me wrong if that's not true) and it helped me narrow down the problem a lot faster.

By being an "editor waffler" I have learned enough about a variety of tools that I feel like they are all part of my toolkit. It's like having a large number of tools and making sure that you use the right one for the job. Okay, enough angst from for now on my choice of editors.