IDE’s and tools

I’ve gotten a few emails from last night’s post asking me why I’ve gone black (and will i go back?),, well you know what they say!

Btw: I’ve Visual Studio, IntelliJ and WebsStorm on black/dracula themes at the moment and a week on I’m kinda sold, the only big downside is when I switch to another app when in dark light (in bed for example) I hurt my eyes as they adjust.

Some people asked about the IDE as it wasn’t visual studio (nope, I’ve not written java in VS yet ;-) ) so I thought it would be interesting to share what tools and IDE’s I use.

As it happens I just rebuilt my OS last weekend so it’s all clear in my head, here goes:

Operating systems:

Windows 8.1 and Mac OS as the moment, I prefer Windows, but my Mac Book Air is by far my favourite hardware… conflict!! I am doing a project with a Raspberry Pi at the moment and between that and the Mac I’ve pretty much given up on DOS* in favour of powershell (simply because I can type linux commands)


  1. Visual Studio 2013 this is my favourite IDE, I’ve been using VS since the mid 90ies, mostly these days I use VS for C#, ASP, UML, Testing, Azure, most of my pet projects are Azure based.
  2. InetlliJ : I took me a while when I started learning Java to settle on IntelliJ, I went back and forth between that and eclipse for a while until I understood java and it’s eco system enough to set up my own projects. IntelliJ is just fantastic and the tooling is great (ideal for MSofties) and there is a certain degree of familiarity as Jetbrains the company behind is the company behind Resharper.
  3. WebStorm: This is another Ide from Jetbrains (they have a few good IDE’s js,java,php,objective-c, python etc, check them out), I use this mostly for non ASP web stuff (where I naturally use VS), it’s quite good.
  4. XCode: I’ve created a few iPhone app’s, I hit the curve learned objective-C and the libraries enough to get a few apps in the store and XCode was the vehicle, I’ve not used AppCode from jetbrains but I bet it’s good! The truth is I’ve not used XCode in about a year now I guess, the reason is that I’ve moved to Android myself and don’t have a iPhone any longer (and at least for the foreseeable future) so I’m not motivated enough to do any iOS coding on my free time.


File management

Total Commander by, I’ve been using this since 2001, I was previously using norton commander but when I changed company I no longer had access to that software so I found my beloved TotalCommander, this is without doubt one of the major reasons I prefer windows. (I must get off my bum and find a corresponding program for Mac as Finder is dreadful IMO.

XML and it’s cousins

Stylus studio: great for formatting xml and editing xml in tree and grid formats, generating xsd, debugging xlst etc, nice xpath support.

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