There’s something about the technology space that loves to toss around the word “minimalism.” People love the minimalism of a design or the minimalism of a given project.
I don’t know how often we do a good job of actually incorporating minimalism into our own respective projects (or lives for that matter) nor do I claim to be a minimalist, but I thought it may be worth taking a look at one of the simplest IDE setups I’ve ever used.
I’ve been using Notepad++ for my local development for two recent projects and have been thoroughly pleased.
Sure, it requires a couple of plug-ins to get going, but I think it provides a solid setup. Here’s how:
The Core IDE
This should be obvious. In order to get going, you actually need Notepad++.
In case you aren’t familiar, it comes with some really good stuff right out-of-the-box: line numbers, syntax highlighting (for a plethora of languages), macros, word completion, and so on.
The File Explorer
Like any good IDE, it helps to have a list of all the local project files available.
Once installed, you can launch Explorer from the tools menu.
Depending on the platform in which you’re developing, you’re likely to need frequent access to the console. The NotepadExec plug-in brings that functionality right into Notepad++.
It interfaces with TortoiseSVN which forms an obvious dependency, but once installed it makes check-ins and check-outs convenient.
Finally, if you’re doing any type of web development, you’re probably going to be working with remote files frequency. Check out FTP Synchronize plug-in.
Professionally, I use Visual Studio. It’s great but is often more than I need for some of the projects I do outside the 9-to-5. I’m also a fan of Aptana but it can be a little resource hungry.
I’ve been using this setup at home for sometime now and have been generally pleased with it. Lots of functionality, fast, and relatively low on system resources. Love that.
So, your thoughts?