Battle of the Code Editors C# edition

Lets set the arena. The editors must be:

  • Cross platform
  • Light weight
  • Extensible with C# support!
  • Modern UI
The IDEs

Code editors must be light weight. That said, take a look at these clunky, cross-platform full-blown IDEs so we can move them out of the way.

md-hero MonoDevelop IDE. Blandness Theme.

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Jetbrains Darcula Theme. I’m a fan.

Visual Studio Code

Let me introduce myself. I am a Software Developer with 12 years of experience specializing in Microsoft technologies. That statement not only hints that I’m old, it also says I am a long-time Windows Developer. And in our world, Visual Studio is king. I’m going to be blatantly biased so just suck it.

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PROS:

  • Excellent intellisense and code snippet support
  • Rich plugins collection
  • Easy git intergration
  • Tab-less UI (because tabs are overrated)
  • Markdown Preview
  • Its from Microsoft! <- just suck it.
  • FREE

CONS:

  • Initial loading is slow

The biggest let-down is the loading speed. But don’t get discouraged yet, once its loaded, its pretty darn fast. To be honest my initial intent was to replace notepad/gedit with VSCode, but I guess that’s not going to happen.

Sublime 3

Now I keep hearing all good stuff about this editor so I decided to give it a spin. Its not free but watch out for Lime Text, which looks very promising.

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PROS:

  • Excellent intellisense support
  • Rich plugins collection
  • Easy git integration
  • Very fast. Everything is just fast.

CONS:

  • Not Free
  • Cant easily change font
Atom

Made with love by the people from GitHub. Its built with Electron, same as VSCode.

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PROS:

  • Excellent intellisense support
  • Rich plugins collection
  • Easy git intergration
  • FREE

CONS:

  • Initial loading is slow
Brackets

This is probably the best HTML editor to date mainly because of the Live Preview feature. Its like Visual Studio’s Browser Link. It only works with Chrome/Chromium for now but its better than nothing. Also, watch out for Light Table.

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PROS

  • Rich plugins collection
  • Easy git intergration
  • FREE

CONS

  • Somewhat limited settings (Cant change font for example)
  • poor code snippets support
  • inferior intellisense
Conclusion

I therefore conclude that VSCode is the best. Kidding aside, these code editors are better at one thing than the other. For example, when my project needs to deal with more HTML than most, I prefer to use Brackets. If I want to modify something really quick, then I’d fire up Sublime because its blazing fast. For the rest of the day, its VSCode all the way. I just keep Atom on my machine for diversity.

For your C# needs, checkout omnisharp.

That’s it?

Where is Notepad++? Or GEdit? Vim/Emacs?

They’re not here because they don’t meet the requirements stated from the start. If you feel I have violated you in any way and left out your favorite code editor, please drop a message in the comments section below.

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