I’m actually happy with my ActionScript editor… on OS X!

jEdit as ActionScript editor

After years of lamenting the lack of a good editor on OS X, stuff I’ve actually found something that’s working — and working well — for me. For everybody who has tried jEdit in the past… it’s time to try it again. I’ve been hammering away on it lately, buy more about adapting it to the workflow I developed using SEPY and FlashDevelop on Windows, and I think I’ve actually got an editor I could learn to love — on any platform I’d ever want! (It runs on Mac, PC, Linux, BSD, etc.) placeLogo(‘jedit’); Once I’m happy with my modifications, macros and overall setup, I’ll share my changes here. Meanwhile, give it a shot if you’re still looking for the perfect editor — It’s MUCH better than it was a couple years ago!

It’s still not quite as fun to use as FlashDevelop on the PC, but it’s getting there. Unlike Eclipse, it doesn’t define your workflow (requiring projects and workspaces to be set up before you can even start editing), and unlike TextMate, it actually feels more like the great AS editors I miss from my Windows days.

Kudos to the jEdit developers for a great job so far. Next step: Complete ActionScript 3.0 integration with its snazzy Sidekick plugin.


5 thoughts on “I’m actually happy with my ActionScript editor… on OS X!”

  1. Ah the lack of a good AS editor on OSX – could it really be over??

    Just a question, what plugs did you install for AS dev? Thanks a lot for your post!

  2. Ben, as for plugins, I’m using (in addition to the latest jEdit, 4.3pre10) CtagsSidekick, BufferTabs, Console, Tasklist, Project Viewer, ErrorList, First Mate, Infoviewer and a few others.

    I think the majority of my “liking it” has come from the hours of tweaking I’ve put into making it work like I expect it to (adding custom Macros to search the ActionScript API, for instance, and even going so far as to change the default icons within the OS X “look and feel”). Rest assured I’m going to put a permalinked “How to make jEdit perfect” page up as soon as I get it exactly as I want it. It’s already better than anything else I’ve used on the Mac so far, but I’m still tweaking (and making notes of what works).

    And Jim, as I mentioned above, I’ve definitely given Textmate a spin. I own Textmate, and until this week it was my “better than nothing” editor. It is indeed a great OS X editor, but it’s just not for me at all. It’s not like anything else I’d ever use on any other platform, and frankly, I #@$%^@ hate “floating” palettes that won’t dock out of the way! (I spend more time moving that #@$^% Code Browser around than I do actually editing code). Every time I try to edit ActionScript with Textmate, I end up distracted and surfing the Web looking for something else. This week, I think I’ve finally found it.

    Meanwhile, anybody got any other favorite plugins they’d like to suggest? I’m delving into the Sidekick API to try to add true AS2 and AS3 autocompletion myself, but if anybody else has any ideas, I’m open!

  3. Whoa, that would be so nice of you!!!

    I have had excatly the same experience with Textmate, and on top of that i had some rather funky char encoding problems with it. Other then Textmate i tryed every other editor from BBedit to eclipse, but for the same reasons that you said i just couldnt warm up with them as they couldnt provide a similar experience als sepy on windows (the osx version is sadly useable with out copy and past and numerous other bugs).

    Much appreciated!

  4. Ask and you shall receive! The first of a series on customizing jEdit is now online here, and there’s plenty more coming. Stay tuned, and thanks for the encouragement!

    (And feel free to let me know what you think of the series as it progresses. Thanks!)

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