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Possible Duplicates:
Mac Text Editor (with function list)
Text editor for Mac OS X

I'm considering getting a Mac. I want to make sure I'll be able to get a good text editor for it. I'm wondering what other folks are using.

Features I need:

  • Contextual highlighting for PHP, HTML, CSS, and preferably many others
  • FTP from a hotkey - so I can hit ctrl-s to save, then another combo to FTP it.

Features I'd like:

  • Code Completion

I'm also interested in any comments in general about coding on a Mac and if it's really worth the extra $$$ to get one.

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migrated from Mar 30 '10 at 22:28

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marked as duplicate by Josh K, random Mar 31 '10 at 0:38

This question has been asked before and already has an answer. If those answers do not fully address your question, please ask a new question.

I take it you're not a fan of emacs? – gabe Mar 30 '10 at 19:38
FTP? for real? Don't you use a real version control system, like Git or subversion. At least ssh your uploads. – cbrulak Mar 30 '10 at 19:44
Duplicate of… – Josh K Mar 30 '10 at 23:14
up vote 0 down vote accepted

I'm not a big fan of Macs, so if you are one, please don't downvote me.

I'm also interested in any comments in general about coding on a Mac and if it's really worth the extra $$$ to get one.

I'd say that, for PHP coding (and any other type of coding that's not Mac-specific), a PC + Linux is a much better and cheaper alternative. I've been using this combo for quite a while now and things have been smooth. The only thing you have to do is look for a Linux-friendly laptop/PC (use sites such as and then you're all set. Install Ubuntu (or any distro you prefer) and then you have a myriad of code editors to choose from.

You've got the hardcore vi(m) and emacs, the lightweight but not-featureful gedit, the lightweight but pretty feature packed geany and other, bigger editors such as Aptana Studio, Eclipse, Anjuta DevStudio, Bluefish to name a few. Just browse through these and pick your favorite, and install it using your distro's package manager (in Ubuntu, just go to Applications -> Ubuntu Software Center and you'll find all these in there).

Most of these will support FTP file editing thanks to GVFS (Gnome Virtual File System) which basically allows you to browse, view and edit remote files as if they were on your own PC, and a lot of protocols are supported (FTP and SFTP/SSH included).

As a personal note, I'm using Geany and I have to say it does the job pretty well for me.

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How do you test your web apps for Mac/Safari compatibility (or do you)? With a Mac, I can (and do) also test on Windows/Linux/[whatever other VMs are supported by Parallels or VMWare], all on the same machine. – bmoeskau Mar 30 '10 at 20:16
Both Safari and IE work with Wine. Or, dual-boot. – Felix Mar 30 '10 at 20:35
I'd like to know why you think PC + Linux is better. The above post only explains how it's cheaper. Thanks. – Cyrcle Mar 30 '10 at 21:48

My trio:

Textmate - All the key combos you could ask for, code completion and more. Throw in a few third party free bundles and you've got a nice IDE.

Transmit - Integrates into Textmate - SFTP please...forget about FTP

Cornerstone - The easiest to use SVN client I've tried

I'm not in for the which is cheaper argument, but I will say I get more done on my Mac than anything else...mainly from a maintenance and ease of use point of view, but that's my personal experience.

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+1, exact same thing I use. – Josh K Mar 30 '10 at 23:13

TextWrangler, if you want something free. Or BBEedit, its paid counterpart.

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Coda with Transmit FTP.

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Aptana - It's free and available for Mac and PC.

FileZilla - FTP Software, free and available for Mac and PC.

Tha advantage of using tools that are available for both, is that if you get to switch you don't need to learn any new software, you just use the other system version.

I don't see any difference between coding in a Mac and in a PC. Specially considering you are looking for Web Dev.

I love my Mac, like that's slick, battery last pretty long, OSX is pretty stable. And you can run windows, if you need something Mac doesn't have.

For Web Dev, you can test on Safari for Mac, which sometimes is a bit different than Safari for PC.

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+1 for aptana, very good IDE for RoR – cbrulak Mar 30 '10 at 19:43

You could let a little Emacs in your life either with Aquamacs or Carbon Emacs. Aquamacs is more Mac-like whereas Carbon Emacs is more, well Emacs-ish. Both work fine on OS X - personally I prefer Carbon Emacs, but that's mainly because it's closer to the Emacsen I use on other OSs.

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You might also want to look at the newer Cocoa-based, code for which is included in emacs 23.1. It's easily installed via MacPorts (sudo port install emacs-app-devel). – Ned Deily Mar 30 '10 at 20:05
I haven't tried that one - thanks for the recommendation, I'll probably give it a spin at some point. – Timo Geusch Mar 30 '10 at 20:20

you should definitely have a look at these two:

At least Espresso supports direct FTP upload. I use Espresso and so far I am happy with it. But it lacks some features of Textmate which is considered to be the best editor for programers.

As far as development goes on Mac OS I only can give you a thumbs up! I switched to Mac in 2007 and development is so much better. But this is almost a religious topic so you just should try it and decide for yourself. You won't regret it.

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I second BBEdit, also if you can get over the clunky interface, and the lack of remote FTP editing NetBeans has a lot of nice features for PHP development.

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