When comparing SciTE vs IntelliJ IDEA, the Slant community recommends IntelliJ IDEA for most people. In the question“What are the best open source programming text editors?” IntelliJ IDEA is ranked 16th while SciTE is ranked 20th. The most important reason people chose IntelliJ IDEA is:
Uses a fast indexing technique to provide contextual hints (auto-completion, available object members, import suggestions). On-the-fly code analysis to detect errors and propose refactorization.
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It's property files allow for fine tweaks of its behavior, at a global or per language / project level. These textual settings might be confusing for those used to preference dialogs, but prove to be powerful, flexible, and fine grained.
With less than 2 MB of binary on Windows, SciTE starts instantly. Plus, if you don't need all the config, syntax files, blah, there's a 678k standalone .exe version. Nothing is going to beat that for lightweight and start-up times. Stick it in a folder that is already on your PATH.
Pro Built-in shell
The console window can show the result of ran commands (like build current file, reporting warnings, and errors), but also accept interactive shell commands.
SciTE works on Windows and Linux, and it also has a commercial port on MacOS.
Pro Powerful syntax highlighting for numerous languages
Lexers providing folding and syntax highlighting are based on code, not on regular expressions. They support context, nesting, special rules, etc.
Based on the Scintilla source code editor, SciTE has some advanced features like rectangular editing, simple regular expression search and replace, code folding, etc. It allows the user to launch a compiler or interpreter, and it can also interpret the error messages, jumping at the location they point to.
Lua scripting is key to SciTE's power and flexibility. The Lua scripting language can be used to perform complex text transformations. It's relatively simple syntax and its large user-base makes it a great choice for a scripting feature.
Pro Free (except on Mac) and open source
SciTE is written in C++, with lot of contributors, both to the core and to the numerous lexers.
Has a simple graphical user interface
Pro Fast and smart contextual assistance
Uses a fast indexing technique to provide contextual hints (auto-completion, available object members, import suggestions).
On-the-fly code analysis to detect errors and propose refactorization.
Pro Lots of plugins
Many plugins are available for almost any task a developer may need to cover. Plugins are developed by Jetbrains themselves or by 3rd parties through the SDK available for writing them.
Pro Smart refactorings
IDEA places an emphasis in safe refactoring, offering a variety of features to make this possible for a variety of languages.
These features include safe delete, type migration and replacing method code duplicates.
Pro Stable and robust
Nothing like Eclipse, you don't have to restart projects from start just because they were corrupted by the IDE!
Also loads much faster than Eclipse.
Pro Android support, JavaEE support, ...
A very complete development environment support.
Pro Intuitive and slick UI
IDEA has a clean, intuitive interface with some customization available (such as the Darcula theme).
Pro Support for many languages
IntelliJ supports many languages besides Java, some of these are: golang, Scala, Clojure, Groovy, Bash, etc...
Pro Free version available
There is a free community edition (open source) and an ultimate edition, which you can compare here.
The ultimate edition is available for free for one year for students but must be registered through an .edu e-mail account.
Pro Clear and detailed documentation
The documentation is exhaustive, easy to navigate, and clearly worded.
Con Missing file browser
SciTE's greatest weakness is perhaps the file browser. It does not really have one, just a poor substitute which works a little bit like a terminal window with
dir commands to show the files in a directory.
No extensions, Themes.
Con Hard to config
The configuration is mainly a file-based config, which can be unintuitive and difficult to use for new users.
Con Bugs not solved
They are more interested in adding new features or issuing new versions than solving bugs.
Con Built with closed source components
The version with full features is not opensource. Parts of the code are under apache licence though.
Con «standard» hotkeys behave differently
Seems like hotkeys assignment in Idea have no logical consistency.
Like «F3» is usually next match, «Ctrl+W» - close tab, etc — they map to some different action by default.
There is a good effort in making the IDE friendly for immigrants from other products: there are options to use hotkeys from Eclipse, and even emacs. But these mappings are very incomplete. And help pages do not take this remapping into account, rather mentioning the standard hotkeys.
So, immigrants are doomed to using mouse and context menus (which are rather big and complex).