I’ve been using Coda and Espresso as my editor of choice for programming. They work pretty well for the most part and are especially welcoming for beginners to use.
My co-worker has been testing out Sublime Text 2 recently that I didn’t care initially. Then my CTO who only uses vi[m] on terminal started to use Sublime and had positive comment about it. That’s two out of three programmars in my office using Sublime and I thought I should at least give it a try. In a nutshell, it helped me program more productively and reduced errors in my code.
Free to Evaluate
To make it easy for me to jump on, the Sublime Text 2 is free for evaluation without any limitation on its functionality or duration to test out. So decided to give it a try knowing that I can always go back to my editors if I didn’t like it. After installing the Sublime Text 2, the next step was to install Sublime Package Control so that you can install add-ons instantly within the editor (just like your browser add-ons). Now it looks like a geeky process to run the Python code in the editor to get this installed but don’t be scared by that. It’s only a one time process and helps you add extra add-ons faster than any other editors. I would have not execute this step if not recommended by co-worker because I tend to shy away from geeky editor which doesn’t look very friendly to web designer / light developer like me.
Free Packages to Sublime Extend Functionality
After initial setup is done, I searched around for packages developed by the community to install. There are many packages out there but I found following extremely useful for web design / WordPress projects. Because of these packages, I decided to use Sublime Text 2 as my primary editor over others.
Emmet for Sublime Text 2
Emmet is an evolution of ZenCoding package which aids user to complete the code with minimal typing. For example, I use Emmet to automatically add vendor prefixes to any CSS rules by typing CSS rule and hitting a tab.
For example, type border-radius in the CSS syntax mode and hit tab key. The CSS will expand into the following automatically.
With Emmet I no longer need to lookup CSS vendor prefix rules or forget about adding them.
Sublime Text 2 WordPress
Because WordPress functions are not programming language itself, there aren’t many editors that helps you write them faster. With Sublime Text 2 WordPress, you will save a lot of time adding new WordPress function with auto-complete.
Search WordPress Codex
Search WordPress Codex is a simple package that adds right-click menu on WordPress function to quickly open the WordPress Codex documentation for the function. This saves time to copy & paste into search engine to look up the function.
I found myself finding useful tools that help me save a lot of time working with code. With Sublime Text 2 I’m more productive with my time and have less chance of typo or forgetting. There are other common features such as Projects, Git integration, Cross Platform, etc that are becoming the standard in other editors. But ultimately, the biggest differentiator for me was the wealth of packages developed by the community available to use.