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Web 2.0 Development With Aptana Studio

Aptana Studio is an IDE for creating web 2.0 applications. It can be downloaded and run as an application or run in the Eclipse IDE. The IDE can be purchased as a professional edition or downloaded in an open source community edition. The open source community edition boasts over 1,300,000 downloads with a combined total including the professional version of more than 2,200,000 downloads to date. This application is designed and optimized for web development languages such as JavaScript, Ruby on Rails, and PHP, with other plugins available including Adobe AIR and iPhone development.

Aptana is backed by many big names in the industry. The advisory board is made up of Ajax gurus like Brendan Eich and John Resig from Mozilla, Dion Almaer and Ben Galbraith who are the founder and co-founder of, and Jack Slocum from EXT JS. With a lineup like this, it is no surprise that the Aptana Studio has as many downloads and as much supports as it does.

Notable Features

  • FTP Support – There is built-in FTP support for working with remote files. The community edition includes only basic FTP protocols, while the professional edition adds SFTP support.
  • Plugins – There are many plugins available to extend the functionality of the IDE including SVN, MySQL, PHP, and more.
  • Code Snippets – There are many code snippets integrated with the default package that can save time when using common code techniques.
  • Debugging – There is integrated debugging with Firebug for Firefox. The professional version also includes debugging capabilities for Internet Explorer.
  • DOM Support – There is an integrated code assist function that provides help for browser support and information pertaining to the DOM.
  • Code Assist – There are helpful hints and suggestions for HTML and CSS code to speed up the development process.
  • Ajax Libraries – There are many prepackaged Ajax and JavaScript libraries like YUI, Mootools, Prototype, and Scriptaculous.
  • Integrated Proxy – There are proxy capabilities available to allow Aptana to be used behind a firewall.
  • Integrated Help – There are several integrated help documents for included JavaScript libraries, alleviating the need to load the help documentation in a web browser. You can have it directly available in pane within Aptana.
  • Error Checking – There is line by line error checking and reporting to take the guess work out of troubleshooting. You will be told and shown what and where the error occurred.

4 thoughts on “Web 2.0 Development With Aptana Studio”

  1. Gyorgy Fekete says:

    Not to mention that Aptana Studio is slow on Macs.

  2. Robert says:

    I’ve tried this on my mac. It’s not slow at all for me, and the whole thing fits the bill perfectly for what I need. This is one justly praised developer’s tool.

  3. magenta says:

    Recently downloaded Aptana and it was working great on my new iMac (4gb RAM) until I got a css file up around 500 lines (where I started noticing lag). That’s not even a really big css file, either. Forget about opening a 1,000+ line file….

    I think it’s a great app, but performance is pretty disappointing so far.

  4. Bruce says:

    I’ve used it for AIR/Flex development, but I’ve been struggling with the RADRails Plugin, and there are a few spots where Aptana just takes over the machine and won’t correctly generate anything. Aptana looks like it launches two java processes during startup, so if you have Firefox and Mac Mail running at the same time, nothing works. Even Force Quits are slow.

    SO much for open source rails development. Is this a ploy to get us to buy the professional edition?

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