Adobe Edge Code has tons of potential

September 27th, 2012

About a year ago, I wrote that Adobe didn’t get web developers and they were in danger of losing them. I’ve always felt that Dreamweaver had a really good code editor but the rest of the program has become bloated and is full of tools that I don’t think any self-respecting developer would use. Plus, like most Adobe products, it’s pretty expensive and considering all the tools out there for less or even for free, then who would buy it? I foresaw a future for Adobe that had them moving back to what they knew, design tools like Photoshop and InDesign and away from development tools. Because really, how could they compete with tools like Sublime Text 2.

Then Adobe shocked me and I’m guessing a whole bunch of people as well. They come out with a bunch of tools that showed Adobe might actually know what developers want. Edge Animate looks like it might end up being useful. I’m not too sure about Edge Reflow, it kinda just looks like Dreamweaver design view. But Edge Code is what really caught my attention. I’ve been keeping my eye on Adobe’s open source Brackets but I wondered if it was ever actually going to turn into something useful. Edge Code surprised me because it’s light and fast and pretty much everything an Adobe product isn’t.

I wanted to give Edge Code a real chance and decided to only use if to code this week. I can’t really give it a full review because it says right in the top right corner that it’s an experimental build and that’s obvious right from the start. Right now it’s really just a basic code editor but the fact that it’s made using HTML/CSS/JS is pretty impressive. Edge Code has two real killer features, Quick Edit and Live Preview. Quick Edit let’s you select an HTML tag and bring up just the CSS for it that let’s you edit it right there in your HTML file. It also does the same thing for JavaScript functions, you select quick edit on the function call and it opens the function for you to edit. Being able to edit only the CSS for a specific tag saved me a ton of time updating a site this week. I didn’t have to dig through the hundreds of lines of CSS to make some quick changes.

Live Preview has some potential. Right now it only works with Chrome and, at least for me, it only shows changes to the CSS. It doesn’t show updates to the HTML, which would really make it amazing.

As cool as those features are, I can’t say that Edge code is ready for everyday use. There’s a few things that it’s missing. There’s no word wrap yet but I’ve been told they’re working on it. You can’t drag files on to it to to open them which really drives me crazy. Also, there’s no tabs at the top, there’s just the list of files that are open in the sidebar. I don’t think this is a deal breaker but it’s a weird decision because I’m pretty sure 99% of other browsers have them.

Download Edge Code and play around with it. Keep your eye on it because I’m sure it’s going to to be a really good editor but it’s not there yet. And the great thing about it is it’s open source, so if there’s something about it that you think really needs fixing, then you can fix it.

2 Responses to Adobe Edge Code has tons of potential

  1. David H. says:

    After reading your post I had to take a look at that Sublime Text 2 that is supposedly better than Dreamweaver. Uh, What the hell are you talking about lol! Man I’m so sick of this html5 BULLSHIT. All of this stuff has been available for literally a decade via Flash version 6.

  2. I’m obviously biased but I agree it is full of potential. I think another killer feature is that it is extensible. There are already a bunch of cool extensions out there (any of the community extensions listed on the Brackets wiki can be added to Edge Code as well).

    I actually wrote an article on Edge Code that covers these and a few other features on the ADC in case you are interested.

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