Last year, I reviewed the Aptana Studio software. Aptana Studio is an IDE, built on eclipse, designed for web designers and developers. Since then, Aptana has made some updates, and I’ve noticed some significant changes.
You can already tell the review is going to skew positive because I’m still using Aptana, and have been since I tried it last year. In the meantime, Aptana has hit its arbitrary “1.0″ stage, introduced several other paid product tie-ins to the IDE, and improved many of its features.
I really like this feature, most of the time. However, as of a recent update I’ve been getting 500 errors when I browse to files I’ve uploaded via Aptana, which turned out to be a permissions snafu. Apparently it doesn’t preserve file permissions, which caused me some irritation until I figured out that you could set the default permissions for uploaded files manually.
Since last year, the FTP Syncronization feature has gotten its own little UI, which auto-tests the files in the project and performs uploads/downloads automatically, and lets you choose which files to include or exclude. The interface is underdeveloped; I’ve never found a way to perma-ignore certain files, so I keep having to uncheck boxes or else give up and sync useless configuration files. For smaller changes I prefer to simply upload what I know has changed. But it’s a nice feature to have around, for sure. I used to just use Filezilla for smaller projects, but now I practically always set up an FTP connection within Aptana so I can quickly make changes.
I’ve confirmed the fact that Aptana will play nice with Eclipse addons by installing pydev for some django work. Very handy, since Eclipse has such a wealth of third-party additions for free.
Aptana has made leaps and bounds in its PHP interface. The autocomplete is no longer ignorant to objects, and will autocomplete the part after $this-> now, which fixes a major complaint I had about the old one. It has a much bigger library of functions than it did before, and best of all, it comes with much better HTML, CSS, and JS editing.
Cloud and Jaxer
Still Worth Using
The only thing that stops me from recommending Aptana to everyone is that, as one might expect, it is very programmer-centric. I think if you just do CSS and HTML, you probably won’t enjoy it as much and there are probably products that do a better job. But, if like me you like to have a taste of all the pies, Aptana is for us.