If you are like me, your first question after sitting down with a new OS is, how is this going to effect my coding? I installed my favorite editor, Sublime Text 2, to see. It looks like for non-metro apps like Sublime it just opens on the desktop. Poking around, I’m not seeing any real issues. I did notice that I’m accidentally opening IE a lot. It is going to take a lot of time to get used to the start button not being there. I definitely have no worries yet.
This is an interesting issue. After you finish re-installing your chosen operating system (whatever it might be), you usually address your top, absolutely most critical, needs first. You can worry about the applications you only use every now and then later. So, what is my top 5 list? The following is in no particular order.
1. Google Chrome [ Cost: free ]
2. Microsoft Security Essentials [ Cost: free ]
Computer security is important. For years, I used a version of McAfee that UW-Milwaukee offered (my former employer). I had used it so long (since high school), that I learned to trust nothing else. After using Microsoft Security Essentials for a few months, I can confidently say that I will not be going back to using McAfee.
3. VLC Media Player [ Cost: free ]
VLC is a great little media player. It will essentially play any media file. I use it for both video and audio. It is the only media player I use. The supported codecs include (but aren’t limited to) Real Video, WMV, H.264, DIVX, and Quicktime. It’s pure awesomeness.
4. 7-zip [ Cost: free ]
7-zip is a file archiver that is much like VLC, in that it will open almost anything. It will even open things (like ISO) that VLC will open. It’s great to have around when you need to open the odd RAR or ZIP file.
5. Sublime Text 2 [ Cost: $59, free unlimited trial ]
Sublime Text 2 has easily become my new favorite coding environment. It is expandable, light-weight, and clean. I use it for just about everything. I don’t care what language you code in. You should check it out. It was an easy decision to add it to this list.
These are by no means the only applications that I have running on my windows computers, but they are the top-5 first items I install on each of my windows computers. I couldn’t live without them.
A code editor is a very personal choice for a developer. Over the years, I’ve used Notepad++, Pico, Nano, Dreamweaver, and ColdFusion Builder and they all have their pluses and minuses. Recently, I’ve started using Sublime Text 2. It doesn’t hog your system resources and isn’t littered with controls but it has more features than a lot of the big IDEs out there.
It uses TextMate bundles for expansion, has tab ripping (a personal must have), spell checking, and easy tag completion. That is just the tip of the iceberg, though
I figured that I would compile a “top 5 tips” list for getting started with Sublime Text 2.
Out of the box, Sublime Text 2 supports a lot of languages but ColdFusion isn’t in that list. Luckily, Somebody has developed a plugin to add support. With the plugin installed, you can use the tab key to complete tags. Want to see an example of how to use it? Check out this screencast.
Some people like to live on the edge. With the risk of walking the dangerous path, you get to enjoy the rewards (like getting new features before the guy in the next cubical). If you want to get the dev build of Sublime, it is there and waiting for you.
Every now and then, you find yourself needing to edit multiple instances of the same function reference or variable name. If you hold down the control key, you can click in multiple places or highlight many words and it will create multiple cursors for you. This way, you only have to type the chunk of text once.
One of the things that makes Sublime so powerful is that you can get to almost anything through keyboard shortcuts. Don’t know what the shortcut, that you are looking for it? Hit control+shift+p and you can browse through all of them.