So, I broke down and bought a new laptop last weekend. No, I didn’t buy an Apple. I just couldn’t see myself shelling out twice as much money for half the computing power. I purchased one on sale with similar specs, if not the same OS and “coolness” factor. I was able to transfer most of my settings making it much easier to get up and running. It did take me a bit to get the “crapware” uninstalled. However, it did provide me the opportunity to try out some new software.
I’ve been using HTML-Kit for a number years now as an alternative to the Homesite editor I use at work. Although functional, HTML-Kit has a few quirks, notably the odd interface. Although powerful, I’ve never been happy with it. So, I started a search to find a replacement. My search, as usually, took me far and wide. Mostly to commercial editors and a few dubious free ones. Most looked like they’d come out in the 90’s. The nice ones, like Microsoft’s Expressions Web, were a bit pricy. The upgrade was $99, the same price I could go purchase Homesite for. In the end, I came upon Komodo Edit from my favorite Perl distributor: ActiveState. At first, it didn’t look all that appealing. However, once digging in, I liked what I saw. It was enough to download and give it a try.
For those looking for WYSIWYG editors, Komodo Edit isn’t for you. If, however, you prefer to edit HTML and code directly, Komodo is pretty full featured. More interestingly, it utilizes some of Mozzila’s technology to provide plugin support. It is a nice touch and i quickly found myself pulling down some new plugins to provide the tree views for remote and local files like I was used to with Homesite and HTML-Kit. Komodo’s interface is clean and functional. There is integration with common scripting interpreters, like Perl and Ruby, and will validate the code if they are installed. Overall, I’m pretty pleased so far. The only thing I don’t like is that the spell checker isn’t integrated. You have to actually run it to spell check the document and it often tags the code itself. HTML-Kit would check it live, much like Word or Safari. Homesite was a manual start, but at least it showed the errors on the page. Komodo’s isn’t quite that helpful. If you don’t have issues spelling your own name, like I seem to have, then it is a minor issue. In all, I’m pleased so far. If you find it isn’t enough, check out the not so free bigger brother, Komodo IDE.
Now, I just need POV-Ray to release their latest version. And why the heck does GIMP have to look like I’m running Linux! Can’t these wonderful open source projects use native bindings? (Sigh)