Perfect IDE

My perfect IDE/text editor has the following features:

  • Java support. And extensible to support other languages. Preferably has existing libs/files for Perl, C#, Ruby, Python, PHP, ASP/VBScript.
  • Runs on Windows. Preferably cross platform for when (if) I make a jump to Linux or OS X as my main platform, and for when I am dabbling in those platforms.
  • Brilliant regex support.
  • Code completion. Intellisense (as in Visual Studio) where it understands the object model and supplies only methods of an object (for example) that exist on that object.
  • Unlimited undo.
  • Fast. Starts fast and stays fast when running.

To me that doesn’t look an unachievable list but my prime candidates all fall short:

Ultraedit doesn’t have the IDE-defining capability of understanding what the text files it is working on mean, therefore it cannot do Intellisense.

JEdit is too slow and Intellisense support is patchy and from a third party.

Visual Studio is just about there but only supports .NET languages.

IntelliJ IDEA is great, if very large/slow. But it only does Java.

My only hopes are Emacs (which doesn’t feel like a Windows application when running on Windows) and Eclipse (which at least aspires to supporting many languages though it is slow and uninituitive). I will investigate both of these further.

Basically I want Ultraedit (or any other really good text editor) with Intellisense. Or failing that Visual Studio/IntelliJ IDEA with support for all languages. Any suggestions?

5 Replies to “Perfect IDE”

  1. Have you tried Scite from the Scintilla project?

  2. Sorry I submitted before I’d finished what I was saying.

    It has intellisense (although this is a new feature I’ve never used)

    It is cross-platform

    It is open source

    It starts as quick as notepad

    It is programmable so you can make it support any language you wish in terms of compiler support etc..

    It is also truely customizeable so you can make it look how you want

    It is based on scintilla which is an editing component.

  3. Just tried Scite now. Very nice. Very quick. Lots of nice features from the get go. BUT the autocompletion is crude. I want Visual Studio-style Intellisense. So that when I type “List l = new ArrayList(); l.” as soon as I type the period a floating window pops up with all the methods of List in it. This list should then shrink down as I type. It is this feature that is missing from ALL the editors/IDEs that support more than one or two languages.

  4. >Visual Studio is just about there >but only supports .NET languages

    VS.NET now supports Java (not J#):
    download free edition at

    You can develop in .NET mixed with Java (or only Java if you prefer) and compile to pure Java application.

  5. Scite code completion is lacks overload, namespace and documetation comment support.

    Maybe someone can plugin #develop completion as Scite external addin (Scite is written in C++).

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