Hands-On Review: SlickEdit 2007
SlickEdit 2007 scores points with its user interface options and code-writing capabilities, but it’s not for beginners.
One of the oldest alternative development environments, SlickEdit is a highly configurable tool that can match your development style on almost any platform, including Windows, Linux and Mac OS. The tool has tons of options for configuring and automating the working environment, but presents a steep learning curve.
SlickEdit lacks the wizards and myriad project types of Visual Studio, but offers a host of productivity features. Syntax Expansion creates a block of code based on typing a few characters, such as an IF or FOR block in the appropriate programming language. There's code formatting, refactoring, bookmarks, annotations and plenty more. There's also rich support for formatting XML and HTML files. The Dynamic Surround feature can surround a group of statements with a block statement, properly indented, and the Files Tool window lets you view open buffers, project files and workspace files.
You can add your own functionality through macros recorded or written in the C-like Slick-C language. Veteran users will appreciate SlickEdit's strong documentation and help options, but those don't resolve the intimidation factor for new users, who could do with a better Quick Start help section.
Don Kiely is a senior technology consultant in Fairbanks, Alaska. When he isn't writing software, he's writing about it, speaking about it at conferences, and training developers in it. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.