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Aptana Aptana Aptana Comments

So here’s me doing my part in the blogospheric memetic proliferation of Aptana. It went live as Aptana Studio 1.0 today. I’ve been beta testing since they’ve had a beta (which was scarcely a week if that) prior to this release.

In the new release they’ve got IE debugging, (sweet!!) SFTP/FTPS, a dedicated JSON editor, (though I’m not sure how this differs so much from the reg-ass JavaScript editor) Project Reporting tools that I assume sift through all the goodies in your project to generate regular reports for management-types. And then priority support on forums. I suppose this last is mostly what you’re paying for, along side the impressive IE debugging.

I hope the Aptana folks make a huge splash. To me, they’ve got the most impressive, well-polished Eclipse distro ever, and I’ve really gotten some mileage out of it, both on the job and off. It’s a great set of features and some great people driving them, and I’d hate to see their product die off.

Is it worth the money for the Pro version? I don’t know. It’s still a moving target. It’s definitely got some bang to it, and is certainly more intuitive/more stable/more easily customizable/prettier than Dreamweaver on my last usage of that product. DW goes for a little over $400, Aptana will be $200 once the $100 discount daze ends. I’ve got a year’s Pro license for free because I was a beta tester. If I get addicted enough to the new features… I think I’d lay down the money. I paid almost a quarter of that for TextMate. I’ve certainly paid more for other software – Cubase, some day I’d like to pick up Ableton Live… Let’s not even talk about video games. (I just got Guitar Hero 3 on Wii, online play is sweeeeet!)

Regardless of what the future holds for them, the Aptana crew has made a major impact on me, personally. They’re a great example of an open source project done right. They’re responsive, they’ve scaled staff well to accommodate the rise in number of users, and have taken on new products/features as well. (RadRails/RDT, PHP, IE debugging, Visual ScriptDoc) It’s also, as I’ve said before on their forums, the first example of a Java product I’ve felt compelled to install on every machine I use. Normally Java to this day seems slow and unworkable to me, but Aptana feels almost native-fast to me.

Good luck, Aptana.

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