What Is a Code Editor?
We cannot start talking about writing codes, without talking about the environment we want to use to process the information. These environment are called Code Editors.
First thing we need to know is that codes don’t run in air. Neither does it swim in water. We actually need an environment where we can make our thought proficient.
Code Editors have features specifically designed to simplify and speed up typing of source code, such as syntax highlighting, indentation, autocomplete, and brace matching functionality. Compiler, interpreter, and debugger are provided in the editors in a convenient way. Syntax problems can easily be detected immediately a code is being entered by the editors. A few Code Editors compress source code, typically converting common keywords into single-byte tokens, removing unnecessary white-space, and converting numbers to a binary form.
Editors can be divided into two main types: IDEs and Lightweight Editors.
What Is an IDE?
An IDE loads the project (which can be many files), allows navigation between files, provides auto-completion based on the whole project (not just the open file), and integrates with a version management system (like Git), a testing environment, and other project-level stuff.
If you need an IDE yet, consider the following options:
- Visual Studio Code (VS Code) is a free IDE and can be used for any platform.
- WebStorm is a paid IDE and can be used for any platform.
What Is a Lightweight Editor?
Lightweight Editors are not as powerful as IDEs, but they’re simple and fast. They are mainly used to open and edit a singe file.
The main difference between a Lightweight Editor and an IDE is that an IDE works on a project-level. An IDE analyzes the project structure, loads much more data on start, etc. A Lightweight Editor works on a file-level. It is much faster than an IDE.
Lightweight Editors have lots of plugins: syntax analyzers, syntax highlighter, etc.
If you need a Lightweight Editor, consider the following options:
- Atom (cross-platform, free)
- Visual Studio Code (cross-platform, free)
- Sublime Text (cross-platform, free)
- Brackets (cross-platform, free)