I'm getting started with web development on OS X need some good development tools, text editors...etc. I have XCode already but it doesn't seem geared towards editing the web technologies I will be using: xhtml, javascript, css, and php.

So I am looking for some ideas. I know about TextMate, but am trying to avoid spending any $$$.


UPDATE: I downloaded them all and so far I like TextMate the best, so I'll be using it for a month at least. Aquamacs and TextWrangler are also good. The web IDEs like Coda and Espresso are pretty interesting. I might give them a chance in the future, but for now I want to keep it lightweight. Thanks all.

+11  A: 

I'd recommend learning Vim or Emacs, actually. They're both excellent editors, and they're transferable skills: because they're installed on virtually every Unix system on the face of the planet you can use them anywhere.

There are OS X native versions of both editors: Macvim, which I use, is excellent, and Emacs has Aquamacs.

Brian Guthrie
Yes, MacVim is definitely the way to go if you want to use Vim.
Brian Campbell
I tried Vim, but it is too weird. It would may be a good choice if you could use this strange input everywhere. But there are places where you are stuck with traditional keyboard input. It-'s like trying to master two absolutely different keyboard layouts. Not worth the effort by my opinion.
Josef Sábl
@JS That's the thing about VIM, it is practically everywhere when it comes to dealing with *nix environments and therefore such a compelling editor to learn inside and out.
I like and use TextMate for most of my daily work. But if you're trying to avoid spending money, you would be well-served by learning one of the above. These are both still extremely powerful editors with active user communities. And you can't beat modal editing for raw speed.
Brian Guthrie
And don't forget if you have to use Windows for some reason, you can make use of gVim, too.
Charles Roper
+6  A: 

Personally I use Eclipse for Actionsctipt, HTML, XML, CSS, JS, PHP... It's not as light as TextMate of course but contains a lot of goodies (syntax high-lighting, validation, auto-completition, SVN team integration, etc. ).

+1  A: 

If you want a free editor, Emacs is the way to go. Can be a bit of a steep learning curve at first, but it has modes for almost any development task you could ask for, and is extremely extensible using elisp. I would recommend installing it through MacPorts.

Brian Campbell
Why do you recommend using MacPorts?
Because MacPorts is in general the easiest way to install and manage a large amount of open source software on the Mac. Instead of compiling everything yourself, you can just use MacPorts to pull down and compile the package and all dependencies.
Brian Campbell
+21  A: 

Reconsider and get TextMate. If you can only save $1.80 a day during the trial period you can buy it at the end.

Jason Punyon
+1. Never used OS X for dev but public buzz directs towards TextMate.
+1 definitely textmate!
+1 A lovely bit of software.
Wow...I didn't really think I'd turn him around...
Jason Punyon
Textmate is awesome
+3  A: 


Well, depends what your doing. But it's a nice wrapper for all the little things.

I use Coda to dev for mono on my mac. great stuff!
+3  A: 

BBEdit has a fantastic reputation in the Mac community. It's a great program, you can't go wrong with it. There is a free trial too!

+5  A: 

Coda is worth the $100.

Robert S.
+4  A: 

coda by Panic is a great text editor - it has built in support for html, javascript, visual css editor & PHP. It also has reference books built in for HTML, CSS and PHP. It has a built in web preview page based on Webkit and it also has built in support for command line interaction with a remote server.

Click here to see coda

I love Coda!!! I use it daily, it's truly awesome.
+4  A: 

For a free, lightweight text editor, try Smultron.

Smultron is OS X only as well :)
+4  A: 

TextWrangler - free, lightweight version of BBEdit.

Kurt Nelson
+3  A: 

Espresso is new and looks neat, but I haven't tried it.

Brant Bobby
Looks good, just need to be able click on a function, class or method and go straight to the definition.
Darryl Hein
I love the UI Espresso is going after. It's a bit rough, and some expected functionality isn't quite up there yet.
+4  A: 

I use Textmate on a daily basis. It is by far the best text editor I have ever used. Give it shot, you get a 1 month trial period for free anyways.

+1  A: 

I'm using Komodo Edit. Works great.

+2  A: 

My favourite web development tools are TextMate, CSSEdit, MAMP, and Transmit (as well as Finder on Mac OS X for organising my files).

I use TextMate to edit my HTML/JavaScript/PHP (in fact, most of my code), CSSEdit to edit my CSS (its "Live Preview" feature is invaluable), MAMP for my local server, and Transmit (an FTP client) to synchronise my local files with the server.

TextMate is well worth the money; but beware that after using it for a while, you may find it extremely frustrating to use other text editors! (One of my favourite features that I miss in other text editors is TextMate's automatic indentation and character pairing.)


Steve Harrison
Steve, have you given Espresso a try as your editor? it's made by the developer of CSSEdit, and has a 15 day free trial.
Yes, I've been looking at it. It's nice, but for me, it hasn't got enough features yet to justify the price (or the switch). I would like to see it incorporate all of the features in CSSEdit, improve its Live Preview, add the ability to view images, etc. Also, it would be hard to leave TextMate!
Steve Harrison
+1  A: 

Aquamacs and Emacs from Macports were already suggested, but I would recommend Carbon Emacs. It has a GUI (you get toolbar, menus, different fonts, copypaste works better than with terminal), but isn't modified as much as Aquamacs. Also, a lot of libraries are included.

+2  A: 

As I mentioned in another question, I have used Eclipse PDT, PHPEclipse and Komodo, but I've come to like NetBeans the best. It seems to be the easiest to use and have the smartest code completion and variable type recognition.

During the time I've been developing my PHP framework, it hasn't let me down yet.

For quick hacks that don't beg for an IDE, I tend to use either Smultron, or more recently, TextWrangler.

Henrik Paul
+1  A: 

i would recommend netbeans. It's not lightweight but very good IDE.


In my opinion TextMate is definitely the best. It's not like an IDE but it has a way more features as you would except from first sight. If you want something more like a ftp-editor-preview-bundle take a look at Coda or Espresso.


I use TextMate for all of my coding requirements and CyberDuck for FTP.

MAMP (Mac Apache MySQL and PHP) is fantastic for local development of projects.

Some of my Mac Dev friends love Code with built in Transmit, and I've been tempted on that front due to the seemless nature for updating repositories.


TextMate; If it's good enough for 37signals, it's good enough for you.

+2  A: 

I'm partial to VS on Windows (via VMWare), but Aptana (based on Eclipse) is pretty nice.

Aptana is great, also free

I would recommend Textmate without any question. The most intuitive, configurable editor I've every used on any platform. It is so worth the small registration fee but try it for 30 days to see what everyone is raving about.

+1  A: 

Textmate is great, but for good php debugging, svn synchronization, and syntax validation, Zend studio is fantastic. You might want to try out the eclipse version, but I stick to the non-eclipse version myself as it's a little more lightweight.


Eclipse is by far the best for most languages.

overblown on a Mac, IMHO.

I recommend you NetBeans.. its free. it is available for all platforms, and mostly it is good for editing php, jsp, java, css, html, ...

believe me, i'm using it for php development and its the best suited ide i can