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What's a good editor for ASP?

Posted on 2000-03-14
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Last Modified: 2012-06-27
What editor are you using for ASP?  I have given up on FrontPage 2000, it has messed up my code one too many times.  

Today one of my client's critical forms broke when I changed the spelling of one word, because FP2000 decided to move some of my hidden tags out from between an If and End If statement.  I don't know how FP2000 can be so stupid when ASP and FP have been around for years, now.

Any suggestions for good free/shareware editors?  I don't want too many features, but I consider highlighting of ASP code pretty important.  Otherwise I would just use notepad.

I have already tried Arachnophobia, ASPEdit, 1stPage 2000 (the best so far).  The editor needs to be stable under NT.

Suggestions?
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Question by:drittich
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by:nunya
ID: 2618187
ultraedit,dreamweaver,notepad
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by:richard123
ID: 2618193
http://www.aspexpress.com/

This software lets you see the code, and it has like wizards to create the connection strings.

It does not highlight asp code.  For that, look at http://www.evrsoft.com/

They have FirstPage 2000, which is FREE and highlights the code.  It is also the current choice for a large proportion of adult webmasters. Very slick product.  And free.  Great Preview feature + it doesn't wreck your code.
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by:richard123
ID: 2618195
oops.  I didn't se that you already checked out firstpage2000.  Well - aspexpress is stable under NT anyways.  
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by:drittich
ID: 2618257
I am going to check some of these out.  1st Page 2000 seems a bit flaky, e.g., the side panel won't open up for me after I closed it.  I click on the little tab, and the arrow reverses but the panel doesn't show.  Tried moving it o the right side of the screen but it still didn't appear.  Up until that happened I was liking it.  It also lost my color settings after I changed the highlighting for different codes.  

Anyway, I'll let ya know...

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Expert Comment

by:richard123
ID: 2618281
It's true that firstpage is not 100%.  There are some bugs.  But I still say it beats a lot (if not most) commercial HTML editors.

You'll find that aspexpress has a couple of quirks too.  I have a license for aspexpress (I went hunting for the best HTML editor too) and the author does respond and fixes any bugs you might find. I have also tried AceExpert and a couple of others like homepage and NetObjects. I even tried NoteTab and UltraEdit (good text editors).  They all have their individual pros and cons, but I keep coming back to (and now using exclusively) FirstPage and ASPExpress.
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by:drittich
ID: 2618350
richard123, does 1st Page let you preview ASP?  When I try it, it just pops up a window asking me if I want to download the file.

UltraEdit looks very functional in a techie kind of way.  No preview though, which would be nice, and I couldn't reset the colors properly.  Maybe I just wasn't getting it, but it should be more straightforward.

nunya, Dreamweaver is too pricy.  I am not look for a full-blown development environment, because I like to do my code by hand, even my db connection strings, because you get maximum control that way.  

Man, why couldn't FrontPage just work decently?
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by:drittich
ID: 2618404
Well, I just checked out ASP Express.  I was really liking it...until I realized the coloring was totally screwed up.  It was getting completely confused as to what is ASP and what is HTML, sometimes reversing them.

I don't see why so many programs have a problem with this!  Arachnophobia is the same way.  All they need to do for starters is look for <% and %> and color everything between them.

Maybe the problem is that the file was originally made by FrontPage, so it has polluted it.  Especially with that JavaScript validation.  Well I want to leave this open for a bit and see if there are any more ideas.  I am not satisfied with any of these progs, unfortunately.

I just tried Microsoft Script Debugger, and it doesn't do the color-coding properly either.  Hmmm.
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by:Flubbadub
ID: 2618606
Well, I agree that Front Page Sux!

I am personally using a combination of TextPad V4.0 (from www.textpad.com I think) - with the ASP sytax highlighting module and the JScript and VBScript Sytax modules installed, it kicks some serious text editor but (i think0 it allows preview in browser and file access via HTTP. Also, it has a clip-library feature and there are stacks of VBScript,Javascript and ASP clib libraries available for almost any task..for simple development it is really cool.   For most of my development, though, I  use interdev.  SOme people will complain about interdev because it can be a little trick to use but it has a really good feature set and it integrates with Source-Safe (a _MUST_ for any development team wishing to achieve rapid development)...Anywhooo thats my 2 cents worth *smiles*
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limorm earned 125 total points
ID: 2618687
im using homesite 4.0/4.5
it's the best html/asp editor.
you can download evaluate version
in www.allaire.com

limorm
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by:xabi
ID: 2618770
Try one of this they are really good:

ASPEdit 2000 http://www.tashcom.com/aspedit
1st Page 2000 http://www.evrsoft.com/1stpage/
HTML-Kit http://www.chami.com/html-kit

All of them have a lot of features.

xabi

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by:CJ_S
ID: 2618793
I  use for all my coding textpad, it has a very good editor in which you can open multiple files. It has colored code-tags for different languages, like HTML, C++, Java etc. And ASP is quite wel supported too. Just give it a try, and you don't want something else after (IMHO)

http://www.textpad.com
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by:anupvijay
ID: 2618977
Hi drittich
I have been working on ASP for a long time now and i have been doing it on Microsoft's Visual Interdev ,a part of Microsoft's  visual studio.It is simply good as per your requirements of colouring is concerned.It has never messed  up with the HTML and ASP code as far as highlighting is concerned.And always gives an indication whenever you have left a tag is left unclosed or you miss a doublequotes etc.
Hope this helps you
Thanku
Anup
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by:MoMarvi
ID: 2619931
Is visual interdev free?
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by:drittich
ID: 2620152
Sorry, anupvijay, but Interdev has already been mentioned.  And maybe it is freeware to you <g> but I have to keep my business clean!
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by:drittich
ID: 2620224
Flubbadub - thanks for the notes...I have been wanting to check out Interdev, as some of my projects are getting pretty involved and use LOT of database stuff (ADO).  In fact, that is pretty well all I do these days. I was looking for freeware/shareware, because the price of Interdev is pretty high, $550 US (that is about $7,000,000 Canadian).  But perhaps I will get my wife to buy it under the academic license ($99 US), and borrow her copy from time to time.

If you want to expand a bit on how you use Interdev (besides the collaboration part, I am a one-man shop at the moment), I would love to hear about it.  It looks too good to be true...what are the downsides.  I don't mind learning a deep development environment if it is flexible.  But, does it produce code that is absolutely unreadable by humans?  Are you *forced* to develop only with Interdev once you start using it, i.e., no quick fixes with notepad in an emergency?  Does it produce very bloated code that takes a long time to download for the poor 28.8 sufferers?  Is it any more sophisticated than FrontPage in its HTML coding, or does it use <font> tags like crazy, making your code double the size it could be?  That kind of thing...

I am definitely going to try Textpad.

limorm - I am going to check out Homesite again.  I tried it about a year ago, but I forget what it was all about.

xabi - as I mentioned in the question(!) I have already tried ASPEdit and 1st Page 2000.  But I'll check out HTML-Kit.  Thanks for the tip.

CJ S - thanks for the extra vote for textpad.  Good to know the userbase is more than 1!

This is pretty good list of proggies so far, one of them should pan out.  
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by:MikeRenz
ID: 2620618
I use TextPad...it has many very powerful find/replace features, and also this cool thing called 'Block Select Mode' where you can select/copy/paste/cut a selection without wrapping across lines!  Very cool.  I just know noticed that others are talking about it in the thread too...good!  I'm glad people know about it.
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Expert Comment

by:Sachin_svk
ID: 2622595
I agree, Allaire Homesite is one of the to Html/Asp editors I have used. Its has lots for userfriendly features. Check it out. U wont repent. The evaluation version is available at www.allaire.com.

Visual interdev 6.0 is very good too, but it is not free.

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by:drittich
ID: 2624140
Adjusted points from 50 to 100
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by:drittich
ID: 2624141
I tried out TextPad, and it looks like *really* good coding editor, again the color highlighting was completely wonky.  This is now the acid test. The file I test with has mixed HTML/VBScript/JavaScript and switches in and out of ASP constantly.  Most of the color-code routines the progs use get confused when they see this:

<OPTION VALUE="<%=ContactTypeID%>"<%If ContactType = selected then Response.Write " selected"%>>

This is the kind of statement FrontPage likes to "fix" too, removing the last angle bracket among other things (although not always).
 

Flubbadub or MikeRenz, does the asp.syn that TextPad comes with do the job properly for you, or do I need to d/l one of the third-party ones?  Textpad's problem seems to be that when it sees an apostrophe (REM symbol) it uses that as a toggle to turn color coding from one mode to another.  So if a block of VBScript start with a comment, all the subsequent code is the comment color until the next comment, which changes the color back to VBScript code color.  Do you get this behavior?

You guys let me know if my color-coding problems are unique or not.  I am starting to find it hard to believe that so many programs can't do this well.  Maybe their routines all use the keyword method instead of taking note of <% %> as well.

Next I will give a quick try of Homesite and the Interdev demo.  I am going to boost the points because this might be boring some of you but I want you to hang around until we see this through.
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by:jitganguly
ID: 2624520
The problem with VID is - If the ASp is not created in VID and if you try to open it, it will mess up the code.
My best bet is ultraedit
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by:drittich
ID: 2626146
Adjusted points from 100 to 125
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by:drittich
ID: 2626147
Homesite is really cool.  It does have a lot of good features.  And so far it is the only editor I have tried that is totally consistent in its color-coding.  It sure uses a *lot* of different colors, but it looks like I could easily customize that.  It is the front-runner at the moment.

I guess the only one to check out now is Interdev.  Unfortunately you have to order the demo on CD, you can't download it.  Does anyone out there already have the demo that they could shoot me?
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by:rmullins
ID: 2626253
drittich,

Isn't it frustrating to spend all this time evaluating tools? Why not just spend spend the money and go with Visual InterDev. If you would have spent all this evaluation time getting work done in your one person shop, instead of TONS of time evaluating editors (and probably polluting your system at the same time), you probably could have already paid for Visual InterDev.

Isn't it kind of ironic that you require an application that is stable under Windows NT, yet you have tried at least 8 editors on your system? That can't be helping the stability of your machine or editing environment.

All editors have their strengths and weaknesses, but Visual InterDev does everything pretty well (as everyone here has attested). And, if you are mostly developing rather than doing strictly layout, VID is an even better choice. You will love the 'flyouts' you get on objects in the document object model and on things such as ADO objects.

To answer one of your questions, VID certainly doesn't preclude you from using other editors to modify your code.

It must be costing you something by spending all this time looking for a really cheap/free editor (if it has not already cost you your sanity)...

Thoughts?
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by:drittich
ID: 2626301
rmullins, I haven't tried Interdev yet, so am not quite ready to buy.  I *will* try it though, just have to wait for the CD I guess.

As far as time and effort, it actually isn't taking me very long at all.  No more than 5 minutes is usually enough to see if I like the feel and features or not.  If I like it at first, I dive deeper...Download time is no problem, I use DSL.  

Your point about system pollution is a good one.  However, I wouldn't dare do this on my development machine - I have another machine that gets ghosted with different OS images all the time; that is the one I am checking this stuff out on.  I think it IS pretty polluted by this time!  Time to load Windows v2.03 back on to it, haha.  It is good to remember your roots from time to time.

I think I was going insane while using FrontPage - at least this feels like a step in the right direction.  I really don't mind expending some effort.  I think it will pay dividends when I have found a really good tool.  I am really grateful for all of the comments so far.  If someone can get an InterDev demo to me quickly that would be great, otherwise I think the points are going to the Allaire Homeys.
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by:rmullins
ID: 2626381
drittich,

I agree with you... Front Page just stinks.

Good reply. I will keep following this post until it is done. Interesting to get different perspectives.

I just know that I really dive into my evaluations... and it is easy to get hung up on them for a long time.

Best of luck!
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by:anupvijay
ID: 2626714
Hi
I had told you drittich.
Can't you get a cd from any of your aquaintances to just try out VID ?
All the best
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by:drittich
ID: 2626830
Yeah, probably, if I ask around.
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by:drittich
ID: 2646039
I am getting my hands on Interdev to check out early next week, so I'll close this question off by Tuesday.
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Expert Comment

by:webstranger
ID: 2663064
allaire homesite
+ web projects support
+ ASP syntax highlite
+ regular expression search&replace
+ ...
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by:drittich
ID: 2667390
I like Homesite the best and it fit my original price criteria.  Thanks all!
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by:rmullins
ID: 2690919
Drittich,

Did you ever get your hands on a copy of Visual InterDev?

-- Rob --
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by:drittich
ID: 2691003
Yes, I did.  I wasn't that thrilled with it.  I didn't like the code it produced (too machine-like), and I guess I have got pretty proficient at ASP/database stuff, so wasn't that excited by it.  It seems like it would be useful if I was coding for IE users only, though, but that is rarely the case.  I am also starting to do a lot of PHP, so am tending towards a more generic editor at this point.

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