Friday, April 06, 2007

IntelliJ IDEA is the "best HTML editor in the world"

Patrick Lightbody calls IntelliJ IDEA the "best HTML editor in the world". Strange. You would think that he meant best Java editor, or that he would have picked a dedicated HTML editor. But no, he is very clear:
This is not an understatement. Ruby-fanatics even admit their beloved TextMate has nothing on IDEA (right Dion?). Heck, at my company, our VP of Marketing (who gets hands-on w/ web design) now uses IDEA and swears by it. Why? Because it speaks fluent CSS, HTML, and JavaScript. And all those nice inspections work here too. It'll highlight unused CSS declarations. It'll help you find usages for JS functions and CSS classes. It'll even point out the fact that "0px" is redundant and can simply be "0"... and you don't have to delete "px"... remember, just press Alt-Enter!

In fact, he's right! And he's not the first to notice. This year, IntelliJ IDEA won a Jolt Productivity Award in a new category, under Web Development, at least in part due to its HTML-editing features. (Check out the Javascript and Ruby support as well....)

The trick is that IDEA is not just dedicated to Java, it has a code-centric architecture that can enhance any language in an intelligent way, including editing, refactoring, code search, navigation, inspections, code highlighting, and formatting. On top of this architecture is the Language API, which allows any language (e.g. Ruby, SQL, etc.) to be plugged in to benefit from these productivity features. Of course, the real beauty of web development with IDEA is the ability of all the languages to work together. Got a JSP page with embedded HTML, CSS, and Javascript? No problem! It all works.

The IntelliJ philosophy is this: Programmers spend most of their time working with code, so the IDE should be as intelligent about code as possible. That's why we have a dedicated code-centric architecture to handle any language a Java programmer might need to tackle. It is also why IntelliJ IDEA is not only the best Java editor, but the best HTML editor, too.


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