Difference Between Similar Terms and Objects

Difference Between IDE and Text Editor

Which one’s right for you – a text editor or an IDE? Well, it’s not a question of which one, but what matters the most. In many ways, the decision between an IDE and a text editor is strictly personal, with online wars being waged over the issue of which one’s actually best for you. To make it a little easy for you, we take a look at some fundamental differences between the two.

What is IDE?

IDE stands for Integrated Development Environment. IDE is an open source software environment that consolidates basic developer tools required to build and test software. Basically, what an IDE does is it consolidates different aspects of a computer program into a single graphical user interface (GUI). During a software development lifecycle, developers have to use several different tools including text editors, compilers and debugging. Without a development environment, these tools have to be managed separately. An integrated development environment ties all these developer tools to one specific framework or a collection of frameworks. An IDE allows the team of developers to work on different modules of the same project in an organized manner. For example, Eclipse is a full-featured IDE generally used for Java programming; IntelliJ is an IDE for Java but is more lightweight; Xcode is an IDE specifically built for Apple platforms.

What is Text Editor?

A text editor is simply a computer program and a tool used for text editing. It is one of the most important tools of developers that enable them to type and edit text, mostly programming language files. Text editors are not directly related to programming; in fact, they are designed to work with framework or language of your choosing. WordPad and Notepad are the most common text editors that come bundled with Microsoft Windows. When you look at these editors, you begin to realize that they all come down to the same basic set of text editing. What they simply do is take some input, change it and produce some output. For example, the default text editor in Eclipse, JFace Text, simply provides basic text editing functions like copy, cut, paste, undo and redo, without the extra bells and whistles. Sublime Text is a cross platform text editor with a wide array of plug-ins.

Difference between IDE and Text Editor

Program

 – While the decision between a text editor or an IDE is surprisingly a personal thing, both are very different programs with different features and functionalities. A text editor is exactly what it sounds, a plain simple text editor without the extra bells and whistles of a full-featured IDE. A text editor is simply a computer program and a tool used for editing plain text. An IDE, on the other hand, is a full-fledge software environment that consolidates basic developer tools required to build and test software.

Functionality

 – The focus in a text editor is the text itself. When you wish to master a single application and then use it for several different technologies and languages, you’d use a text editor because text editors are simpler than IDEs. What they simply do is take some input, change it and produce some output. IDEs are much more than that; they consolidate different aspects of a computer program into a single graphical user interface (GUI). IDEs allow the team of developers to work on different modules of the same project in an organized manner.

Hardware 

– Plain text editors are simpler than IDEs and are often much cheaper than full-featured IDEs. A simple text editor may cost you around $20 or so, while a commercial fully-functional text editor can cost you around $100. And they require fewer hardware resources to run, meaning less disk space, memory, and processing power. IDEs, on the other hand, require more disk space, memory and a faster processor, and you probably need a higher budget and a more robust computer. Well, choosing between the two is strictly based on your requirements.

Features

 – Text editors tend to be simpler than IDEs but the best text editors have a slew of features built-in, which can also be extended to add support for other languages. In addition, they can execute code without even leaving the application. Plus, some text editors provide syntax highlighting, version control, but built-in debugging is still a long shot even for best text editors out there. IDEs, on the other hand, are undoubtedly more feature-rich with all the bells and whistles, including code intelligence, project management, debugging, compiling, and more.

IDE vs. Text Editor: Comparison Chart

Summary of IDE vs. Text Editor

Well, the decision of which one’s right for you depends on your requirements, such as the hardware you’re using, the language and the technologies you’re working with, your feature requirements, and your budget. Text editors are obviously the simpler ones; they are easy to begin with, meaning you can start using a text editor in no time. This is not the case when you start using an IDE. But once you’re used to it, you can probably write and debug the same code in less time than what it would take you with a text editor. Both have their pros and cons. By mastering each one of them, you can decide for yourself which one’s best suited for which project.


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References :


[0]Foote, Steven. Learning to Program. Boston, Massachusetts: Addison-Wesley, 2014. Print

[1]Wielenga , Geertjan. Beginning NetBeans IDE: For Java Developers. New York, United States: Apress, 2015. Print

[2]Sutherland, Kathryn and Marilyn Deegan. Text Editing, Print and the Digital World. Farnham, United Kingdom: Ashgate Publishing, 2012. Print

[3]Fairbrother, Scott et al. The Java Developer's Guide to Eclipse. Boston, Massachusetts: Addison-Wesley, 2005. Print

[4]Finseth, Craig A. The Craft of Text Editing: Emacs for the Modern World. Berlin, Germany: Springer, 2012. Print

[5]Ullman, Larry. Modern JavaScript: Develop and Design. Berkeley, California: Peachpit Press, 2012. Print

[6]Image credit: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Text-editor_03.png

[7]Image credit: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Ninja-ide-screenshot.png

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