Computing stuff tied to the physical world

My development setup

In Software on Sep 9, 2013 at 00:01

The tools I use for software development have evolved greatly over the years. Some have been replaced, other have simply gotten better, much better, over time. I’d like to describe the setup a bit in the next few posts – and why / how I made those choices. “YMMV”, as they say, but I think it could be of interest to other developers, whether soon-to-be or seasoned-switchers. Context: I develop in (for?) JavaScript (server- and browser-side).

Ok, here goes… the main tools I use are:

  • 2 editors – yes, two…
  • 2 browser – yes, two…
  • 2 command-line windows, yes, two…
  • a note-taking app (sorry, just one :)

Here is a snapshot of all the windows, taken at a fairly arbitrary moment in time:


And this is the setup in actual use:


Tomorrow, I’ll go over the different bits and pieces, and how they work out for me.

  1. I discovered a new cross-platform editor last week: Sublime Text. It is close to awesome, and incomprehensibly fast. (I am using macVim and gVim, but I might consider switching.)

    Given your taste for experimenting with new tools, I think you’d be interested in giving it a try too…

    • Heh, thanks – I used ST for about a year. Terrific alternative for TextMate (then v1). Fast. Even has a vi mode. It didn’t grow on me. I switched back to TM v2 when that came out, but vim has my vote for all but browsing large source file collections. I can see the trade-off though: if you don’t use some of vim’s more advanced command styles (for example “ci(” to change inside parens), there is little gain over a mouse or extending / shrinking a selection with the keyboard arrows. Vim is only useful as (very) long-term investment.

      One thing I do note is that keyboard-based editing is hard: with plain text, fixing typing mistakes is a matter of hitting the backspace key, which becomes a very fast motion after a while. With editor commands, typo’s require much more thought.

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