I have been a great fan of Dreamweaver. Even after I migrated to Linux Ubuntu, I still diligently use Dreamweaver (under Wine) for all my coding projects. To say the truth, running Dreamweaver in Linux with wine is not a great experience after all. At times, its performance can be lagging and the font and interface can be rather ugly and unmatching to the whole OS theme. The only reason that I am still using it is because I have not been able to find a worthy replacement for it. Quanta Plus, bluefish, geany, Netbeans, Eclipse, I have tried them all, and in my opinion, they are either not as good, or as user-friendly as Dreamweaver. That is until I found Aptana.
Aptana is based on the popular Eclipse, so if you have been a fan of Eclipse (or Dreamweaver), you shouldn’t have any problem getting used to Aptana.
Things that I like about Aptana
Support various platforms
One thing that I love about Aptana is its tags suggestion, tags explanation and autocompletion feature. When you type a tag, it will show a list of similar tags and give you an explanation of what each tag does. This is also a feature that I like in Dreamweaver and is sorely lacking in most IDE.
If you are coding HTML and CSS at the same time, you will want to view the changes you have made on the CSS file on your HTML file instantly. By placing the two files side by side, you can quickly make changes to the CSS file and view the result on the HTML preview.
You can also have two instant of the same file, one in the Source mode while another is in the Preview mode. This make it easier for you to check the output of your code.
There are still many other features in Aptana, such as Cloud hosting, FTP/SFTP support, inbuilt Web server, AJAX server, that I did not mention, either because I have no use for them or I have not tried them out yet. However, for those things that I have used , I must say that I am pretty impress with it.
One thing though, the installation in Ubuntu is not as straightforward as expected. I did spend some time before I can get it to work. In my next tutorial, I will go through the steps to install Aptana on Ubuntu 8.10.
Have you tried Aptana? Do you love it? Share with us in the comments.