The new Zen Coding project is a must for web developers. The quick story is that the Zen Coding project greatly reduces the amount of HTML code one needs to write for many, many common tasks. The developers have a bundle for TextMate and Eclipse Monkey scripts that work in Aptana and several other Eclipse editors (and, with a very minor edit, CFEClipse, too).

Here's a text-based sample of what it does for us developer.

Type the following in a file:

Then, press ALT+E and the resulting output is:

And that's just the start.

Next, type this:

And you get this:

The list goes on and on. It's an incredible time saver, in my opinion.

They have some videos, which are kind of amusing with the 'jammin' tunes :)! Here are the links:
Screencast for Aptana
Screencast for TextMate

Aptana/Eclipse Installation
Installing the scripts to work in Aptana is easy but I never dealt with Eclipse Monkey scripts so I had to ask. If you're like me and unfamiliar with Eclipse Monkey (i.e., scripting Eclipse), here's what you do.

  1. Create a new project in Eclipse (I called mine Zen Coding)
  2. Add a folder called 'scripts' (must be plural)
  3. Copy the Zen Coding files (from the Google Code repo) to the scripts folder
  4. Refresh your workspace or restart Eclipse/Aptana

That's it!

Enable for CFEclipse
To make Zen Coding available in all editors (i.e., CFEclipse), you need to make one small edit to the file called Expand Abbreviation.js (in the scripts folder).

Go to line 24 and change it from this:
var editor_type = zen_coding.getEditorType();

To this:
var editor_type = zen_coding.getEditorType() | 'html';

Refresh the workspace or restart Eclipse/Aptana and you're good to go. You can now use Zen Coding techniques/time-savers in all Eclipse editors.

The developer has tested in PDT PHP Editor, Spket IDE, Ant Editor. You can see the Aptana Forum thread on this topic here:


I would like to recommend Codelobster for Zen-Coding.