Aptana: A Free Cross-Platform Web Application Designer

One of Macromedia’s most prominent applications is Dreamweaver and there hasn’t been much that has stood in the way of it. Some companies have taken stabs at stealing its success but they often struggle to stay afloat. That is why we will have to turn to the open source community to find the application that we need. Aptana may be that application to start to take away some of Dreamweavers dedicated customers just like how Firefox is breaking into Internet Explorer’s market share. This Web development software makes it easy to build applications that use JavaScript, HTML, and CSS because of the Code Assist feature (pictured above). Aptana will show you hints and suggestions as you go through and type your code which helps prevent syntax errors and often times a painful debugging process. Some of the great features include:
  • Code Assist on JavaScript, HTML, and CSS languages, including your own JavaScript functions
  • Outliner that gives a snapshot view of your JavaScript, HTML, and CSS code structure
  • Error and warning notification for your code
  • Support for Aptana UI customization and extensions
  • Cross-platform support
  • Free and open source. (Source available soon)

When the story made the front page of Digg the only concern people had was a lack of PHP support. In the comments a developer from Aptana said “We’re working on adding some PHP support! We’d love to hear exactly what you’d like to see with regards to PHP. Come on over to our forums at http://www.aptana.com/forums/ or submit to our bug tracker at http://www.aptana.com/trac/ and let us know what you want to see.” So this is definitely a possibility and would make this application a real eye-opener for Adobe/Macromedia. There is a large screenshot gallery available and several screencasts that show Aptana in action. If you have already decided that you like it then you can go straight to the download page. Please remember that this is currently Beta software and may not be stable in all situations.