For web development, few IDEs are both free and as powerful as Aptana. The new Aptana 3.0.5 Beta is now a mature product (early Aptana 3 was very buggy) and good enough to switch to. Here you will find a syntax colouring theme for the new Aptana 3, compatible with TextMate and e Text Editor theme systems.
Aptana Studio 3 has been around for a while now but most developers (myself included) sticked to old Aptana 2.0.5 due to its stability, compatibility and familiarity with features, although it was dissapointingly slow when dealing with huge PHP files.
While looking for a replacement IDE, I stumbled upon an awesome alternative: PHPStorm, which, besides the fact that changing the colour scheme is harder than connecting it to Github, is excellent in every other aspect. However, after checking the alternatives I decided to try to Aptana 3.0.5 and yeah! it’s blazing fast, has neat things like native Git versioning and the only thing missing is PHPDoc auto-generation from Aptana 2.
Anyway, this is not a review of Aptana 3 and you came here looking for the syntax highlighting theme so this is how the color scheme looks like in Aptana with a PHP file from WordPress:
I used as a base a theme named “choco” bundled with Aptana but only for its definitions, because its colors are pretty dull. As mentioned before this theme is compatible with TextMate for Mac and E Text Editor (a good alternative to TextMate, even if its name is so insipid). The theme system is really good and you can fine tune every type of syntax element.
Load the theme into Aptana 3
Now, let’s load this theme into Aptana:
- Download Chocolate theme and unzip it.
- In Aptana, Go to WindowPreferences.
- In the Preferences dialog type Themes to filter it or go to Aptana StudioThemes.
- Load the theme using Import.
Old Aptana 2 required one for each file and recreating the colors was a hassle so it’s a welcome addition that you can customize the syntax colouring in Aptana 3 with a single file now. One syntax coloring file to rule them all!