I tend to spend some time each weekend coding some personal projects, for the reasons listed below. Each reason could be a post of its own, but I’ll save that for another day.
- Keep up with new platforms and frameworks
- Experiment in areas not covered by my work.
- Build tools that my family or I can use around our home
- Because I enjoy what I do, and want to have some personal projects under my own control
But there is a huge difference in the toolkit used for my work vs my personal projects. All of my personal projects reside 100% in the browser, and are free to the public with no registration or user accounts required, and no data tracked. This is all a deliberate, philosophical choice, which could also be a post for another day.
The choice of a text editor is really the reason I started writing today. Text editors are almost a religious argument amongst developers. But my needs are simple:
- A non-white background, to make it easier on my eyes.
- A UI that lets me view the files/folders I am working with, and open multiple files at the same time. (I like tabbed UIs, but that is not a requirement.
- Color-coded syntax.
For quite a while I’ve been trying Sublime Text. But it is not free. Atom.io provides a similar editor, which is free. Sublime Text feels more polished – it is more responsive, starts faster, remembers where I was better. But once I have all my files open and am really doing my work, the editors are pretty similar.
I think I am going to have to stick with Atom – its startup speed is annoying, but… free. It is really hard to compete with “Free”.