Web Development Color – Pet Peeve

We were talking the other day amongst ourselves about one of our favorite topics.  What's your favorite editor for web development?  When all of a sudden a common pet peeve reared its ugly head, we had to write about it, mainly, in hopes that one of those unknown editor developers might someday in the near future rectify the situation.

I've looked at, and tested, a lot of editors,  my specific needs mostly being web development.  Let me name a few,  in no particular order, that I have actually downloaded and spent time looking over:  NetBeans, Dreamweaver, Komodo, Zend, Eclipse, Aptana, HTML-Kit, PS-Pad, Notepad++, Kompozer,  Textpad, TopStyle, and  InType.   I am currently using Aptana, and HTML-Kit for most of my work.  These are both free for the download.

Now to the Pet Peeve, I've talked to a lot of developers and everyone I have talked to, tells me that they like to work with their editor having a dark background with consistent color syntax highlighting across various code languages in lighter colors.  Everyone that wants to do that, have a dark background and light syntax highlights,  has to configure each and every one of these editors by hand, for each language, and for each selector or tag.  What a pain!   Some of these color changes can take hours.   The absolute most frustrating editor to change colors, bar none, is Eclipse, it's awful.   I've tried to get Eclipse the way I wanted it several times, and each time, I have gotten so frustrated, I've switched editors.

Every version of these editors that is released has a white background and usually a nicely set up color syntax highlighting adjusted properly for a white background.  Why give you any color choices if it such a pain to go away from a white background?  In fact, what I'm asking for, is a properly configured dark background choice, like one option reverses everything to a dark background with properly set up color highlighting for the dark background.  That doesn't seem to much to ask, but apparently the editor developers find it just as hard a task as us everyday developers.

The only editor that came with that option was a very good, but incomplete and still in, what seems like forever, development, InType.   If this editor ever gets done, this could be the TextMate of the Windows world.

So what about it.  Can we get a proper dark background layout, or are we just going to be iritated for the next 10 years, until someone gets it right.

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