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  1. #1
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    Favorite PHP IDE?

    Hey All,

    I am just about to try the Zend Studio Personal Edition 2.6.2 and got to thinking about what IDE's frequenters of this forum use.

    I have been using Dreamweaver MX to hand-code my PHP scripts because I like the site management features of DWMX, especially the CTL-SHIFT-U keystroke to upload the current file to the remote server. That and Snippets and the ability to do WYSIWYG HTML for the Presentation portion of the pages. BTW, design-time CSS is great!! Too bad the DWMX PHP server model spits out such ugly code, or I would actually use the built-in PHP capabilities more.

    Anyway, I have been longing for a good PHP debugger to speedup development and bug fixing. I have used a number of different PHP IDE's but have still to find one that is half way decent.

    I tried the ZEND IDE when it was first released a couple of years ago ( waste of a good $150 ) and have periodically tried the evaluation versions to see if they have gotten bettter. I used and liked the original SE IDE that was part of the DBG debugger, but it didn't have any FTP capabilities. That was before it became NuSphere PHPEd. I also looked at the initial release of PHPEd but at the time it lacked the ability to do remote debugging. I don't know about the latest version, version 3, but I am hesitant to spring $299 to give it a try.

    So, what does everybody else use? Do you have any recommendations or comments on the different PHP IDE's available?

    I would greatly like to hear what everyone has to say on this topic.

    Thanks,

    Jeff

  2. #2
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    *this has been discussed numerous times - do a search

    quick comments:
    Zend IDE 262 - good
    PHPEdit - promising but not ready (stable) yet
    PHPEd - good but expensive (you can request a trial version)
    Kommodo IDE - good

    those 4 are the ones to choose from on windows...
    (it's a matter of taste)

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by m.t.
    *this has been discussed numerous times - do a search
    m.t. - Sorry, should have done that.

    But as you seem to post a lot on the IDE topic, what are your thoughts on Dreamweaver MX?

    I'm interested in your opinion.

    Thanks

  4. #4
    "Of" != "Have" bronze trophy Jeff Lange's Avatar
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    I develop pretty much solely in Dreamweaver MX, as I enjoy it's features, and the file checkin/checkout.

    I've used Zend, and a few others, however I always end up using Dreamweaver MX in the end, just because of the entire package.

    As for debugging, I haven't really had a problem in the past, I find the PHP errors somewhat vague, however they always point me to the correct location, and provide some information. I've never really had a problem with the debugging regard either.

    (Deluxe Portal uses the Dreamweaver Checkin/Checkout features, so it's basically required for working on the code.)
    Who walks the stairs without a care
    It shoots so high in the sky.
    Bounce up and down just like a clown.
    Everyone knows its Slinky.

  5. #5
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    www.editplus.com

    for professionals only

  6. #6
    SitePoint Zealot Egghead's Avatar
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    At the risk of repeating many a person's comments... For Windows: PHPEdit - It's better than sex! (Alternatively, if you have a life, it's quite good.)

    Why I like it so much:
    good (sensible) sytax highlighting with the absolute must have switching mode between HTML and PHP (HTML is greyed out whilst editing PHP code and vice-versa - makes it all so easy to see how your scripts are integrated with your regular HTML pages. Of course this is not so essential for writing OOP PHP with very little HTML!)
    All the other functions of a good IDE seem to have been included or are being perfected in the development and nearly all things can be defined in preferences.

    You can ignore most of the "unstable" comments you read and just happily belt out code, however if you use the development version rather than the (limited feature) stable version, I guarantee there will be at least a couple of moments each week when you wish you had saved your work before PHPEdit crashed! If you can live with this then get the development version ASAP.

    Version 1.0 has been a long, long, looooonng time coming and it seems interest in the project may be waning a touch, but the licence has been changed to invite more contributions to its development so hopefully soon a stable version with all the bells and whistles will be appearing on peoples desktops.

  7. #7
    SitePoint Zealot Egghead's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Egghead
    Why I like it so much:
    I forgot to add:
    It's free! Unlike the pricey PHPEd, Zend IDE and DWMX options.

    One other note: My system slowed to a pathetic crawl with the trial version of Zend IDE (I'm told it's because of the Java console it uses) If this was not the case I would probably be quite a fan, however life is full of ifs!

  8. #8
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    Better than sex ? Ummm.... Very doubtful there Sex is the biggest orgasm in life it's self IMO

  9. #9
    SitePoint Member kmeister's Avatar
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    After trying out phpEd and Zend 2.6, I ended up purchasing a copy of Zend developer studio. I am very happy with it so far. It helps to have a fast workstation, but other than that I don't really have many complaints. I do all of my php development under linux so unfortunately the free and nice phpedit was not an option. Zend's remote debugging feature is adequate and handy. 2.6 also sports CVS integration which is pretty helpful. The reason I chose zend 2.6 over phpEd was that when I tried phpEd, I ran into some bugs and some difficulties using the UI. It is a nice product with some features that Zend doesn't have (Mysql integration, SOAP wizard), but for $300, I felt it lacked polish.

  10. #10
    "Of" != "Have" bronze trophy Jeff Lange's Avatar
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    PHPEdit Stable also has problems with escaping in quoted strings... which drove me nuts.
    Who walks the stairs without a care
    It shoots so high in the sky.
    Bounce up and down just like a clown.
    Everyone knows its Slinky.

  11. #11
    SitePoint Zealot marcoBR's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cagrET
    www.editplus.com

    for professionals only
    Just agree!!!

  12. #12
    SitePoint Zealot Egghead's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kmeister
    when I tried phpEd, I ran into some bugs and some difficulties
    I knew the Windows version of PHPEd was a little buggy - changing very little from when it was a freebie package before being snapped up by Nusphere (Which begs the question: Why $300??) What I don't know is what the package is like on Linux. If it is buggy like the Windows version, then I think that raps it on the head for me. I'm sure Nusphere will sort out the bugs one day soon, and/or maybe drop the price?

    As I will be doing a lot more development on Linux, I would be very interested in what people prefer to use on that platform, or if somebody has a particularly good configuration for emacs or vim...?

  13. #13
    SitePoint Zealot sanka69's Avatar
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  14. #14
    Talk to the /dev/null Theiggsta's Avatar
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    I wish PHP had an editor like IntelliJ IDEA, probably the BEST IDE ive ever worked with. Why does Java have all the good stuff?!? =(
    Aaron "Theiggsta" Kalin
    Pixel Martini
    Ruby and Rails Developer

  15. #15
    SitePoint Enthusiast kermit's Avatar
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    I must say i am really happy with ultraedit
    .
    I do think it's one of the best texteditor for windows.

    just my 2 Rappen.

    cheers
    kermit
    I propose that the following
    character sequence for joke markers:
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    19-Sep-82 11:44 Scott E Fahlman

  16. #16
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    I have Zend Studio 2.6 though on Windows 98SE and Java SDK1.4.1 installed the bloody thing gets to the flash window and it hangs... AMD Duron 850Mhz & 256Mb Ram - is that enough ? Still stuck with using DW MX at the moment.

  17. #17
    Employed Again Viflux's Avatar
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    Try htmlkit.

    I forget where I found it, but google html-kit or something.

    It's free and is kick-*** for everything I want to do thus far.

    Note that the name (html-kit) implies that this is for html only. Also note that this is an incorrect implication

    Try it out!

  18. #18
    SitePoint Wizard silver trophy redemption's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Theiggsta
    I wish PHP had an editor like IntelliJ IDEA, probably the BEST IDE ive ever worked with. Why does Java have all the good stuff?!? =(
    Yeap I've recently checked it out on evaluation and it seems to be an excellent IDE. It has recently won the JavaWorld Editor's Choice for 2002 for Best IDE.

    From the features listed on the website for PHPEdit, it does seem to have matured. What with Code Insight, code hints, debugger, and a todo generator. Plus it has a code formatter (phpCodeBeautifier) - I love Jalopy on Java.

    I'm going to try it out and see. Thanks for the recommendation Egghead.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dr Livingston
    Still stuck with using DW MX at the moment.
    Dr... I don't know about the "STUCK" part, but I am definitely still using DWMX.

    I have been looking at all the IDE's that have been proposed in this topic stream and I have still to find anything that beats DWMX and DBG/SE from a development point of view.

    Maybe I am just dense, but everything that I have tried seems to be either cumbersome or lacking in features or just does not feel right.

    I have tried:

    NuSphere PHPEd 3.1.2 Eval edition
    Zend Studio 2.6
    PHPEdit Stable 0.6
    Maguma Studio
    HTMLKit

    and some others that I found mentioned in these forums and elsewhere. But they all seem to be lacking in one respect or another, although they at times have bits and pieces that seem to be nice features.

    However, none of these bits and pieces seem to be worth switching from DWMX.

    Don't get me wrong, DWMX has it's own issues. For example, the way I have my Site Definitions set up, I cannot use Live Data view.

    I do this thing in DWMX where I map a top level directory in my Site profile that is above the web server document root so that I have access to all files of the site ( sometimes even more than one site ), including those outside the sites' document root, as I like to place all PHP files in a directory outside the web server document root for security purposes. DWMX allows me to easily to this. All I have to do is ensure that the directory structure for the Local Site files reflects that of the Remote Site files. I can then use the CTL-SHIFT-U keystroke to quickly upload files ( current open file or whole directories ) to the remote web server.

    However, as my Site Definition document root differs from the Web Server document root, Live Data view cannot find the correct files when it attempts to connect using the paths that I have set in my Site Profile.

    That makes developing a bit harder.

    Hummmmmmm. Does anyone know of a DWMX/PHP tips site? Maybe I can find some people to swap DWMX development tips with.

    Anyway, sorry to bore you with all that DWMX stuff.

    I guess my point is, is that I have still to find a PHP development IDE that can do more than DWMX without all the hoops that the current breed of products make you jump through.

    So, I guess that answers my original question.

    Thanks to everyone who contributed to this disscussion and lets all hope that the wider usage of PHP will lead to better development IDE's.

    See ya around the forums.

  20. #20
    SitePoint Addict MarekS's Avatar
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    AMD Athlon 900, 640 MB RAM, fresh Windows XP SP1... recently restarted ... and so on ...

    but the Zend Studio (2.6) still locks up - even if I am not tryn to use the debugger.

    it does not hang but it kinda stops respongind for a few (to 10) seconds or so... usually it happens when I switch back to IDE (alt+tab) ... and then, it works on normally for a N (unknown amount) of minutes.

    Any ideas - why? Anyone? Or perhaps the IDE is no good at windows?

    thanks,

    - MarekS -

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by mouse
    PHPEdit Stable 0.6
    0.6 sucked

    I think I use 0.7.1.95 at work... after that the code became unstable again for a few builds (after .100), and now judging from the development list the .130+ builds are getting very stable again, so I may get the newest version very soon.

    Perhaps it is simply what you get used to... I have DWMX at work as well, but for 95% of what I do, I use PHPEdit, and I couldn't imagine using another PHP editor. I have tried a bunch of others as well (including Zend), but all of them paled compared to what PHPEdit offers me.

    The one knock I do have against PHPEdit is that there is some on going bug (and it IS a bug in my mind) that cause the parsing to become stupidly slow on large files, say >40000 character, or 1500 lines of code or so. So opening a massive uber file from something like PEAR is not advisable (I will use UltraEdit if I run into that big a problem).

    Overall I don't use one editor for everything.
    • I use PHPEdit for all PHP, and 80%+ of my HTML/XML work.
    • I use DWMX for some HTML and concept layout stuff, and for the occassional ColdFusion coding I do (usually people asking me to duplicate in ColdFusion something I wrote and added to our PHP global library).
    • And I use UltraEdit for all my SQL, PL/SQL, INI, httpd.conf, etc. editing (basically anything else).
    • I also make use of UltraEdit's "Find in Files" and "Replace in Files" features to make things go faster when needed.
    No one stop tool, but each does its job very well.

    One last point on PHPEdit. I am not sure what the current editor component used in PHPEdit is, but the development list is really full of chatter these days about a component called SynEdit (I think that's it)... in any case they are going to be adding a bunch of new features like code folding for function and classes, and possibly the ability to fold code based on user defined delimiters (i.e. the popular //{{{ and //}}} notation). There are some pretty interesting ideas on the development list now for things to add to the editor, so I think the future of PHPEdit is looking pretty bright

    Cheers,
    Keith.

  22. #22
    SitePoint Addict MarekS's Avatar
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    I reinstalled the Zend IDE and I got it work normally (it’s NOT slow anymore). I assume that this slow behavior was caused by my IDE conf (Tools -> Customization...).

    I cannot say exactly which settings were behind this (since I had foold around with different settings) and frankly... I am not keen to find it out right now Otherways I like the IDE. Seems to be faster then the previous release.

    A note about PHP Edit: When I tested it - I was pretty pissed when the Ctrl+D reformatted my code. (and undo did nothing). Luckily the file was small. Not sure if this can be turned off or if the key-combination is available on every devel release – but... yap.

    - MarekS -

  23. #23
    SitePoint Wizard Chris82's Avatar
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    Except for editing Java files, I could not be convinced to change from JEdit.

    Syntax highlighting for many languages
    (regexp) find in files
    builtin scripting
    many plugins
    supports the //{{{ folding notation

    I really like the editor.

  24. #24
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    Mouse - register as a developer with macromedia.com and you can then have access to their DWMX extensions and tutorials and forums etc; 2 minutes is all it takes For me I can never remember my username/password and I again need to re-register Some interesting stuff in there though...

  25. #25
    ********* Victim lastcraft's Avatar
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    I am using Komodo (which can be slow), but has a nice mix of features and language support (except Bash) and doesn't hog the desktop like a full blown IDE.

    IntelliJ IDEA has won the awards for the refactoring support. There is limited support for refactoring in Eclipse (free from IBM) written by Eric Gamma amongst others. The refactoring support is tied to Java (probably to block out .NET) so I don't expect to see it in the PHP plug-in anytime soon.

    A pity. A real time saver when you have it.

    yours, Marcus


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