ActiveState Komodo 5.0

King of the dynamic IDEs.

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ActiveState Komodo 5.0
  • ActiveState Komodo 5.0
  • ActiveState Komodo 5.0
  • ActiveState Komodo 5.0

Pros

  • New code formatting tools, performance issues have been addressed, feature rich

Cons

  • Lacks a GUI toolkit, could do a better job with the developer aids, ActiveState's PPM is still not supported on 64-bit installs

Bottom Line

If you're in need of an IDE that can flexibly bridge multiple languages, support distributed teams with ease, and ultimately improve code quality and streamline development cycles, you'll want to take a close look at Komodo 5.

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Komodo's extension and plug-in manager — similar to the add-on manager in Firefox — make it easy to see what's installed and to locate updates.

I was also impressed by the SCC enhancements. Along with supporting the version control systems noted above, Komodo now allows you to push entire sets of changes to the repository (versus solo file commits). Although I'd like to see the addition of support for password authentication and a work-around for managing Perforce's proprietary format, Komodo's quick-click transaction history log and code differential tool go a long way toward shoring up change management.

Many pros, a few cons

Komodo's integrated debugger and testing facility are simply terrific. Traditional variable watch lists and static breakpoints are augmented by conditional breakpoints (based on a specific value or event, such as an exception). The unit testing interface also facilitates plan definitions (either globally or within a Perl, PHP, Ruby, or Python project) and helps locate errors quickly and easily across multiple files in complex projects.

For Perl developers, Komodo offers perks such as the brand new Perl Development Kit 8. PDK provides a regular expression utility that lets you build and validate regex statements (see screen image) against live data, and it allows you to create and maintain cross-platform executables targeted for stand-alone execution on any supported platform.

Another nice addition in PDK 8 is the GUI interface to the Perl::Critic package. The facility delivers analysis of your source files and verifies against established policy guidelines — great for keeping teams in sync with best practices. I particularly liked the option to interactively walk through code scans versus static report dumps.

For Web-related projects, Komodo provides a convenient, built-in browser and an HTTP inspector that delivers real-time, granular insight into request/response transactions. The split-screen interface is a real timesaver during debugging, allowing me to step through an XSLT debug session and the live XML doc at the same time. Komodo also includes an interactive shell to the interpreter, so statements can be executed directly for prototyping and session interaction.

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