Geany and other Development Tools

I’ve tried lots of programming editors and ides over the years, obviously in Unix and Linux this is a Holy War, particularly between the advocates of vi and emacs. It is common for both groups to suggest that the other editor is hopelessly over-complex or clumsy. I think there’s some truth in that, because essentially, they both stink.

I tend to be an emacsen user myself, but I just think emacs is slightly less awful than vi. My first action on a new install is usually to use vi to edit my sources.list in Debian, to help me install emacs. Perhaps thats strange, because I really like sed. So what’s the problem with them? They both share this kind of puritanically awkward interface that works well on a console, but sucks in a GUI. They both use ridiculously arcane sequences of key presses to do anything, and I mean even basic stuff like saving and quitting. Yes, yes, you don’t have to lecture me about old terminals and their limitations, been there done that, got the t-shirt. I tend to do all my systems maintenance in emacs, but when I’m programming, I’ve started to love the softness of a decent editor that actually makes it plain and simple to edit multiple buffers of source code, even though its a pain to use different editors for console and gui work.I can’t bring myself to love gedit, it’s just a bit clunky, and I’ve generally used Kate for lots of PHP. It’s quite nice, but it’s a KDE graft in my otherwise Gnome world, and that causes a few minor annoyances, plus, at least on Debian Kate still doesn’t seem to support a PHP symbol browser.

So, I just tried Geany for a few days. I really like it, it’s simple, fast, lean, has some nice features like showing a feint line at an indentation level, working PHP symbol browsing (the compile function even runs php -l) on the file to check for syntax errors, simple but neat. I nice VC plugin allows easy diffs, but the VC integration could be nicer. All in all, I think I’ll play with it for some more time, but one thing it does annoys me. When I save a PHP file with no new line after the closing characters, it adds one automatically. Bah, I don’t like that, I’d do it if I wanted it. Oh, by the way, I also use PySVN Workbench for casual subversion jobs, it’s nice, clear and makes it easy to avoid silly mistakes. I still tend to use the command line for more complex stuff though.

One Reply to “Geany and other Development Tools”

  1. Adding newlines at the end of files is configurable in Geany: Preferences-Files.

    Currently there’s no FTP support, but someone started a plugin at Launchpad…

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