In this corner, the IDE
|Sears Mechanics Tool Kit|
I also use SVN and GIT as my two primary means of source control. While subclipse or subversive were nice, they rarely worked 100% of the time, especially when I made the switch to a Mac. I had problems checking projects out where after going through the whole process of setting up the project eclipse would never bring any of the code from the repository so I'd have to start all over. On my Mac it was a total crap shoot when I'd try to synchronize. I also tried to use some of the SQL tools inside of Eclipse as well (I think I even blogged about the SQL Editor in CFBuilder once) but I never found them quite as useful as the external SQL tools that I regularly use. Additionally I used the console view in my IDE quite a bit to write debugging output, this feature is nice, but is easily replaced by tailing a log in the terminal.
Lastly in order to support all of these areas of functionality an IDE needs to use lots of screen space. When I'm coding I like to see two things: the folder structure of the project I'm working on and the code itself. When I was using an IDE I found myself constantly readjusting the windows within my workspace. Maximize the code, minimize the code, show the console, show the server, team synchronization view. It was distracting to say the least.
Making the Switch
While I was happily coding in my many flavors of Eclipse I'd see many developers talking about Textmate, Notepad++, VIM, and EMACS. I'd frequently half heart-idly try out E (textmate for windows) but I'd always go back to CFBuilder after a short time. While I found that I liked the look and feel of these a bit better than Eclipse I failed to see what all the hype was all about. The first "a-ha" moment I had was when I was using E and typed in cffunction -> tab, then I pressed tab again. OK, this is sort of nice, I can fill out a whole tag and cycle through all of its attributes by pressing tab. This was nice but when I write functions I don't always use all the attributes. The next step I took towards text editor bliss was to customize the snippits I used the most to match the way I wrote my code. Shortly after I was writing code faster than I ever was before. Little by little I started to use E more than CFBuilder and Aptana.
In this corner, SublimeText 2
|Snap-On Torque Wrench|
Additionally now that I wasn't using Eclipse for everything I had to find alternatives for the other things that Eclipse did for me like SVN, GIT, Ftp, and viewing log files. For the most part the replacements I found have far outperformed what was available in Eclipse. For instance on my Mac Cornerstone has been a great replacement for the SVN integration in Eclipse. I love the incoming/outgoing file count. I have less conflicts now because I can see when files are waiting to come in and update more frequently. There are situations where the eclipse plugin outperforms it, but those are far and few between.
Lastly are the intangibles that make SublimeText a pleasure to work with. For the first time in my career I have found an editor I am passionate about. An editor that, for me, makes coding more fun. Its the little things that make such a big difference. I love the animations when I close a tab or delete a file. I love the 30,000 foot view of all of my code in a file, I love how the contents of a folder smoothly slides down when I click on it. I also love how easy it is to pull in a color file and have those colors work on all my code instead of having to import 15 different .col files like I did with eclipse.
In conclusion I'd like to say that no text editor or IDE will make every developer happy. Each developer should use whatever makes them happy and productive. In the mean time I'll continue to sing praises of Sublime to whomever will listen. But who knows, when CFBuilder 3 comes out I'll probably switch to that for a bit simply because I love trying new things.