I'm currently looking to move to using an IDE for web development. The options I'm considering are:

  1. Aptana Studio
  2. Coda
  3. Expresso

Please base your answers on the following criteria, in descending order of importance:

  1. Supports HTML, CSS, JavaScript
  2. Powerful (having good code completion, good debugger, great syntax highlighting etc)
  3. Fast and light
  4. Supports HTML5, CSS3, and major JavaScript frameworks (JQuery or YUI)
  5. Great design (both usability and aesthetics)
  6. Supports PHP, Ruby, and Python
  7. Has Git integrated

I've updated the question to be more objective. I'm mainly looking for an answer that addresses how well each of the IDEs addresses my criteria.

closed as not constructive by user8 Jan 16 '12 at 5:04

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Of the three you mention I think Coda is the best buy. Espresso was (is) worthless until they integrate better. Aptana is heavy and clunky.

Note that Coda doesn't have a debugger or support for JS frameworks as far as I know. I last used Coda at 1.5 before switching to VIM / TextMate for everything.


A: Aptana
C: Coda
E: Espresso

  1. Supports HTML, CSS, JavaScript (ACE)
  2. Powerful (having good code completion (ACE), good debugger (A), great syntax highlighting (ACE))
  3. Fast and light (CE)
  4. Supports HTML5, CSS3 (AC), and major JavaScript frameworks (JQuery or YUI) (A?)
  5. Great design (both usability and aesthetics) (C)
  6. Supports PHP, Ruby, and Python (ACE)
  7. Has Git integrated (A?)


  1. All support HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. By support I mean offers tag closings, some formatting options, and syntax highlighting.
  2. Code completion is bad, as are IDE's in general
  3. Fast and light are not indicators of good IDE's, rather they are indicators of excellent feature pruning.
  4. What specifically do you mean by HTML5 (buzzword), CSS3 (almost a buzzword)?
  5. All aren't horrible, Coda and Espresso are better then Aptana.
  6. All support to some extent these languages.
  7. None as far as I know have integrated git support, and none should. Git is best done at a command line.
  • 5
    IDEs are great. – Armand Dec 13 '10 at 1:19
  • +1 for the vim plug. Not that I recommend it (due to learning curve) but personally, I use vim (mac, windows, linux) and textmate (mac) for most text editing. – gahooa Dec 13 '10 at 1:50
  • @Alison: In my experience one is more efficient by simply learning the code base then depending on the IDE to fill in the gaps. Sure it has some nice things but if you're comfortable only with them you become severely disabled when having to do without them. – Josh K Dec 13 '10 at 2:37
  • 3
    When would you have to do without them?! And efficiency is certainly subjective - if you have to learn a codebase before you gain that efficiency, you might find that in a lot of situations you've wasted time. No offence meant - I certainly get where you're coming from - but this really isn't black and white. – Armand Dec 13 '10 at 7:16
  • @JoshK By HTML5 and CSS3 I mean the newer stuff like <video>, -webkit-gradient, etc. Basically I want them to be able to recognise the newer tags and not mark them as errors, i.e. to have a development team that keeps up-to-date with the latest stuff. – jon2512chua Dec 13 '10 at 12:20


It fits everything apart from "Fast and light". It's fast enough which is all you need.

  • Best tools I've seen for history and file diffs that you won't find in something small like coda.
  • There is a git plugin which works really well.
  • Auto-completion for PHP is very good, better than eclipse based IDEs.
  • Support for web frameworks like rails and symfony.

You might also want to look at Komodo.

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