Choosing an editor or IDE for development is a personal thing, like choosing a car. What is a perfect ride for one person offers no interest at all to another. Personally, I was never happy with only one car and usually want different ones in the garage so that I can choose the one that most closely matches my mood or the kind of driving that I need to do.

Some folks like the help and tooling of a fully integrated environment like Visual Studio. Others like the hardcore elitism of EMACS or Vi. I’m a pragmatist, I like tools that just help me get the job done.

For right now I’ll focus on tools for the client side of web development. Here’s what I’ve chosen. All of these tools are free. There is one commercial application that I’ll add at the end because I think it’s worth the money.

jEdit is a good general programmer’s editor with syntax highlighting support and, though it’s feature rich, it doesn’t get in your way while you’re writing code.

jEdit is written in Java and so it runs on Linux. Mac and Windows. I especially like the rich plug-in repository where i can get and add all kinds of specific features that I’m interested in.

You can install jEdit via the Ubuntu Software Center.

And you can get plug-ins here –

Though jEdit is a great general purpose programmer’s editor, I tend to like something with HTML specific features when doing HTML work.

Though there are many HTML editors available for Linux and most of them are free, most of them lack any specific support for HTML5.

So, for HTML editing I’ve chosen BlueGriffon ( which is a free HTML Editor that is built on top of the Mozilla Gecko engine.

You will need to manually download and install it but since the download is a native Linux executable, it’s straight forward.

Go to and download BuleGriffon. Once the download has finished yo0u need to mark the file as “executable”.

Then just double-click the BlueGriffon file that you downloaded and the installed will start.

It has both wysiwyg and source level editing and a collection of accelerator tools.

Similar to Mozilla Firefox and Thunderbird, BlueGriffon supports plug-ins and you will find a number of them on the BlueGriffon web site. Some are free and others are modestly priced.

I also installed a good CSS specific tool, CSSEd.

Some folks like IDEs, others don’t – I do.

Though I use both Eclipse and Netbeans for certain types of work, for client side development (HTML / JavaScript) my choice is Aptana Studio 3.

Aptana Studio has support for HTML5 and CSS3 (as well as PHP, Python, Ruby, Rails, etc.)

For working with JavScript, I found Aptana Studio to be easier to set up and more intuitive to run, debug, and otherwise work with. This post is just a quick entry to highlight my tools selection and installation – laying the groundwork for writing code in posts to come, but I invite you to install Aptana Studio and start to familiarize yourself with it.

The Firefox browser is installed with Ubuntu by default but there is an amazing developer’s tool available for Firefox.

Firebug is a web page debugging tool but it’s also an invaluable development aid.

Firebug is a Firefox plug in. If you haven’t explored the world of Firefox plugins yet you’re missing out!

To install Firebug, start by accessing the Plugins menu [ Tools -> Add-ons ]

On the add-ons page enter “firebug” in the search box.

If you don’t see Firebug in the result set, scroll down to the bottom and click on the “See All Results” link.

Once you have installed Firebug it will be available by pressing the [ F12 ] key, or [ Ctrl – F12 ] to run in a separate window. You can also run Firebug from the Tools -> Web Developer -> Firebug Menu

Ok, now that we’re tooled up we’re ready to start writing some code and exploring the world of HTML5 and JavaScript.

Do you use any other tools. Add a comment !