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PHP Programming

Eight PHP IDEs Compared 206

Posted by timothy
from the colonic-extraction dept.
snydeq writes "InfoWorld's Rick Grehen provides an in-depth comparative review of eight PHP IDEs: ActiveState's Komodo IDE, CodeLobster PHP Edition, Eclipse PHP Development Tools (PDT), MPSoftware's phpDesigner, NetBeans IDE for PHP, NuSphere's PhpED, WaterProof's PHPEdit, and Zend Studio. 'All of these PHP toolkits offer strong support for the other languages and environments (HTML, CSS, JavaScript, SQL database) that a PHP developer encounters. The key differences we discovered were in the tools they provide (HTML inspector, SQL management system) for various tasks, the quality of their documentation, and general ease-of-use,' Grehen writes.'"
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Eight PHP IDEs Compared

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  • Eclipse PDT? (Score:5, Informative)

    by KermodeBear (738243) on Wednesday February 03, 2010 @11:49AM (#31010480) Homepage

    Eclipse PHP Development Tools 2.1.2 received an overall score of 8.8. I'm not sure why. I have tried this on several occasions and I find the interface confusing, the software itself bloated and slow, and the internal plugin manager is always broken and can't download dependencies correctly - if at all.

    Sure, there are posts all over the place that are supposed to help fix these issues: Download X from Y, and A from B, and then modify this configuration, and, and, and... ...and I shouldn't have to. It should 'just work'. I spent half a day trying to get the SFTP plugin installed and working and I gave up. I don't have time for that.

    My personal favorite, as far as 'large' IDEs go, is Zend Studio - the last version before they moved over onto the Eclipse Framework.

  • by PsychoPingu (1178147) on Wednesday February 03, 2010 @12:04PM (#31010742)
    Eclipse can do it with PHP and XDebug if its running on Apache: http://robsnotebook.com/php_debugger_pdt_xdebug [robsnotebook.com]
  • vim/EMACS? (Score:2, Informative)

    by Canar (46407) on Wednesday February 03, 2010 @12:14PM (#31010908)

    I know this is PHP, so it might be expecting too much, but what ever happened to using vi?

    I'm a semi-pro (all told I've probably made nearly $100k) web developer and I've never felt the need for all these fancy IDEs. I've tried them before and they just slow me down.

  • by unity100 (970058) on Wednesday February 03, 2010 @12:14PM (#31010910) Homepage Journal

    as if php is not something worth developing on or those who develop on it cannot be called real developers.

    i am working in the industry since 2003 as a php developer and i use notepad++. it works very well too.

  • Re:yep (Score:4, Informative)

    by sopssa (1498795) * <sopssa@email.com> on Wednesday February 03, 2010 @12:24PM (#31011086) Journal

    Personally I wasn't really happy with Eclipse or other open source solutions. The GUI plain and simply sucks, isn't that good to customize and provides too less information and actions. People say its a powerful tool once you learn to use it, but why should I spend time on that when there are better alternatives (and which provide more features)?

    Personally I've tried pretty much all of the IDE's mentioned in this article and finally went and bought WaterProof's PHPEdit. In my opinion, it's the most comprehensive PHP IDE there is.
    - Debugging options are *great* (like comparing vi to Visual Studio)
    - GUI shows lots of information, but doesn't bloat it - panels roll in and out when they're needed (if wanted)
    - GUI is totally customizable, there's scripting language to do it too. One of the first options I did was change ctrl+s to save local version, save cvs version and publish testing machine version, but not publish on live site, all on press of ctrl+s. On toolbar I added a separate button to publish the new version on live site.
    - Another point about the great debugging options that the article mentions too, you can simultaneously debug PHP and Javascript. This is something you really miss in other IDE's once you've tried it.
    - PHP files usually have mixed PHP, HTML, JavaScript and SQL. Once you move your cursor over a single block, it highlights and colors with the correct language and makes the other languages a little bit more transparent - you can easily see for example all blocks of JavaScript or SQL code.
    - Preview lets you view what your site looks on all IE, Firefox, Safari and Opera
    - Too many other features to list which I think should be in all IDE's, but are not :) And haven't even got around to learning all things yet.

    Now that being said, it is probably too heavy for a PHP coder that isn't coding professionally. Many amateur C++ programmers go just with Dev-C++ too, but professionals and those coding for living almost always appreciate the powerful suite that Visual Studio is. Proprietary tools stay in business because of this - they're much more polished and complete than their open source alternatives. And if you're working on it professionally, paying for the good tools doesn't really matter that much if it saves you time and from headache.

  • by IpSo_ (21711) on Wednesday February 03, 2010 @12:26PM (#31011098) Homepage Journal

    Have you tried using PHP's Xdebug extension with CacheGrind (I prefer KCacheGrind for KDE), it works wonders.

    I haven't found any IDE's that integrate such functionality, but I don't really see a need for it as KCacheGrind works so well as it is.

  • by ianare (1132971) on Wednesday February 03, 2010 @12:29PM (#31011160)

    Masochists.

  • by classified (154433) on Wednesday February 03, 2010 @01:29PM (#31012132) Homepage

    Yea, I thought it was weird that a review of PHP IDEs omitted Dreamweaver; I have tried at least 4 of the IDEs they list, and used Coda on Mac until I got Dreamweaver. My preference is still Homesite (the old Allaire product that morphed into DW after macromedia bought it). But, homesite only runs on windows, so on a mac IMO Dreamweaver CS4 works better than all of them and allows me to do a lot of pretty fast validation and integrity checking. /mike

  • by kestasjk (933987) * on Wednesday February 03, 2010 @01:51PM (#31012472) Homepage
    You need to use Xdebug (you could use Zend's commercial platform software, but that's expensive and you don't need it). You activate it, and it'll log all sessions to profile data files if you configure it to. Then you download "WinCacheGrind" or something, which will open these profile data files for analysis.

    However WinCacheGrind is an old piece of software that hasn't got new features for a long time. It does the job, but it's not great. It's a clone of a more advanced KDE application which does the same thing, but it definitely has fewer features.

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