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  1. #1
    SitePoint Guru OfficeOfTheLaw's Avatar
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    "Must have" tools

    CASE tools... a must for every serious software developer. I'm wondering what kind of tools the rest of you use for project management (I know I know... i bring this topic up quite often.. just interests me I suppose).

    Currently, I've been integrating the following into my projects with great success:

    argoUML - this has been great for quickly drawing up class diagrams and kind of having a preemptive documentation approach... I try to describe methods and properties as much as possible, and it's easy to rework and analyze visual models, and the php code generation is awesome.

    SimpleTest - I've gotten into a habit of writing unit tests for the classes and/or packages I've only modeled but haven't quite written the actual code... I am still working on getting some kind of automation scripts to check code out of repositories and unit test them nightly.

    Subversion - I still can't believe that I used to rename files with silliness like .bak, .bak12-23-04, etc. With revision control, my team has been able to work on code without having to instant message someone and ask them if they have it open, or worry about breaking things permanently.

    phpDocumentor - just because I know how to use a class and have it's method memorized, doesn't mean the next person does.

    XDebug - great for backtracing errors.


    Anything else? I know most of these can be dropped for other ones, like PHPUnit rather than SimpleTest, or Dia, Visio, Rational Rose, etc. instead of argoUML, but you get the gist of it.

    James Carr, Software Engineer


    assertEquals(newXPJob, you.ask(officeOfTheLaw));

  2. #2
    simple tester McGruff's Avatar
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    SimpleTest, Subversion, Xdebug (for occasional profiling).

    Don't seem to need UML diagrams much. If I do I'll just use Freehand. Some interesting comments here: Is Design Dead?.

    Regex Coach is handy.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by McGruff
    SimpleTest, Subversion, Xdebug (for occasional profiling).

    Don't seem to need UML diagrams much. If I do I'll just use Freehand. Some interesting comments here: Is Design Dead?.

    Regex Coach is handy.
    Hello, interesting article. Although I'm used to UML, it's true that its objective of unification is not so obvious: there are 9 different diagrams to cope with, redundancies between them and so lack of traceability, tools are immature - argouml is mentioned above I prefer Jude. Now it's not really UML against XP, UML is a tool or language not a methodology, UML can be used with XP, if one really wants to oppose XP it's against RUP, Rational Unified Process from IBM.

  4. #4
    ********* Victim lastcraft's Avatar
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    Hi...

    Quote Originally Posted by laura2005
    Now it's not really UML against XP, UML is a tool or language not a methodology, UML can be used with XP, if one really wants to oppose XP it's against RUP, Rational Unified Process from IBM.
    We use UML all of the time, but the diagrams rarely get further than the whiteboard and a digital camers (Google for "whiteboard photo"). We are mostly XP/Scrum. A few permanent UML diagrams are recorded in Dia. though.

    RUP is a collection of best practices and you are supposed to tailor it to your environment. Unfortunately you don't get much advice on that tailoring without spending money on consultants . You can tailer it to look like XP though (called "dX"). I could never get to the bottom of it and have become disinterested after hearing about Alistaire Cockburn's scalable Crystal system.

    My essential tools? Opportunity to code, opportunity to talk to fellow developers and opportunity to read and research. With these three in place you will always get better.

    My nice to have tools? Version control, index cards (for CRC and Scrum backlog), unit/web tester, wide desk with a big screen (for pairing), whiteboard, XDebug (for the stack trace), ab (for end to end benchmarking), another whiteboard, Rephlux, simple editor with syntax highlighting, Whiteboard Photo, plenty of books nearby, yet another whiteboard.

    yours, Marcus
    Marcus Baker
    Testing: SimpleTest, Cgreen, Fakemail
    Other: Phemto dependency injector
    Books: PHP in Action, 97 things

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by lastcraft
    Hi...

    RUP is a collection of best practices and you are supposed to tailor it to your environment. Unfortunately you don't get much advice on that tailoring without spending money on consultants .

    yours, Marcus
    I know by experienceS but IBM's a big name and very good at marketing it in corporates so I follow .

    Now RUP is valuable but I think it also depends on available tools. And they of course sell tools with RUP unfortunately they are not perfect so the need for consultants continues (hey isn't IBM's business plan targeting more consultancy and less materials). My job has been in some missions to conciliate between these consultants who reason in pure abstraction and the client's programers who want to see concreteness sometimes I felt like I've been taken by the two parties like in a sandwich

  6. #6
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    adoDB: Handles multiple databases, completely OOP with several nice functions such as building UPDATE and SELECT queries with ease. I can run a while loop that builds a SQL statement from an array with data passed through POST.

    Dreamweaver MX 2004: For a coder, it's nice to build both W3C complaint HTML templates and code within one environment. What's lacking is basic IDE functionality that what makes Eclipse really nice. I've started looking at Xored (based on Eclipse), but their HTML designer is still not as robust as Dreamweaver yet.

    Smarty: Great tool to seperate business logic and presentation layer. Provides greater flexibility with postfilter functions.

    XAMPP: Great way to test your programs locally.

    Subversion: Great for code versioning. I'm building a Trac like application that will be released soon written in PHP. v1.2 will be released in May, hopefully the "LOCK" methods will play nicely with DMX 2004 so that it's completely integrated.

    Other frame works of interest:

    Mojavi http://www.mojavi.org/
    BinaryCloud http://binarycloud.com/
    MVCnPHP http://www.tonybibbs.com/index.php?topic=MVCnPHP
    Prado http://www.xisc.com/
    Phrame http://phrame.sourceforge.net/
    Propel http://propel.phpdb.org/wiki/
    Phing http://phing.info/

  7. #7
    SitePoint Addict
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    I'll substitute argoUML with Poseidon (based on argo, but last I checked a whole lot more developed). And I'll second regex coach, it's just plain handy.

  8. #8
    SitePoint Enthusiast topsmith's Avatar
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    I will add phing ( http://phing.info ) and vim/eclipse as editors.

  9. #9
    eschew sesquipedalians silver trophy sweatje's Avatar
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    IMHO you missed:

    Your favorite text editor with PHP syntax highlighting
    Firefox
    http://www.php.net/manual/en/

    Jason Sweat ZCE - jsweat_php@yahoo.com
    Book: PHP Patterns
    Good Stuff: SimpleTest PHPUnit FireFox ADOdb YUI
    Detestable (adjective): software that isn't testable.

  10. #10
    SitePoint Wizard stereofrog's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sweatje
    IMHO you missed:

    Your favorite text editor with PHP syntax highlighting
    Firefox
    http://www.php.net/manual/en/

    And what about :

    - pen
    - piece of paper
    - brain



    I'm using NuSphere btw. IDE is rather middling, but debugger is ok.

  11. #11
    eschew sesquipedalians silver trophy sweatje's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by stereofrog
    And what about :

    - pen
    - piece of paper
    - brain

    First two are obsolete with the advent of a printable whiteboard and dry erase markers

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by sweatje
    First two are obsolete with the advent of a printable whiteboard and dry erase markers

    And maybe that will be obsolete with the advent of Tablet PC's; unless you really want a large board for others to see. Then again, you could always hook a Tablet PC up to a projector.

  13. #13
    SitePoint Enthusiast
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    has anyone tried the php pluggin for eclipse, is it any good, I'm loving the trial version of zend studio 4 at the mom but nit sure whether to get or not

  14. #14
    SitePoint Enthusiast escape164's Avatar
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    Just some links for those that find this thread in the future. I would also suggest making a post on the PHP Wiki if one doesn't exist yet with these tools.

    ArgoUML - http://argouml.tigris.org

    SimpleTest - http://www.lastcraft.com/simple_test.php & http://simpletest.sourceforge.net/

    Subversion - http://subversion.tigris.org/

    phpDocumentor - http://www.phpdoc.org/

    XDebug - http://xdebug.org/

    Regex Coach - http://www.weitz.de/regex-coach/

    Phing - http://phing.info/

    Vim - http://vim.org

    Eclipse - http://eclipse.org & http://www.phpeclipse.de/tiki-view_articles.php

    PHP Manual - http://www.php.net/manual/en/

    All of the above are great projects that help to make code better. I am pretty familiar with everything except Phing, XDebug (will be looking into this) and Regex Coach (already downloaded!). For anyone who does not know Vim, don't be intimidated. It took me almost 6 months to really learn Vim well. But, that work has paid off tremendously. Opinions about other text editors aside, I think you'd be hard pressed to find something as powerful as Vim in such a small and capable package.

  15. #15
    SitePoint Wizard silver trophy kyberfabrikken's Avatar
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    argoUML has nice features for java->uml generation. Does anybody know if something like php->uml exists ?
    The closest I got is Waterproof:UML. The php-parsing capabilities are great, but unfortunately the program itself is very limited. It does supply XMI-export, but I can't get argoUML to read it.

  16. #16
    SitePoint Guru OfficeOfTheLaw's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kyberfabrikken
    argoUML has nice features for java->uml generation. Does anybody know if something like php->uml exists ?
    The closest I got is Waterproof:UML. The php-parsing capabilities are great, but unfortunately the program itself is very limited. It does supply XMI-export, but I can't get argoUML to read it.
    I'm considering writing my own module or something to do this (seems like it would be somewhat simple enough), but there was some python script I used awhile back that was able to generate uml for dia from php sources.

    It was rather broken though, but it did the job (if you didn't mind renaming the occasional arguement lists it frequently jumbled).

    I think that argoUML offshoot can do it, but unsure.

    James Carr, Software Engineer


    assertEquals(newXPJob, you.ask(officeOfTheLaw));

  17. #17
    SitePoint Guru OfficeOfTheLaw's Avatar
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    Oh yeah... and I'd say PEAR has proven to be quite useful to me. Just this last week I wrote a multi-page form for a bank that had a variable number of pages depending on what you enter (at maximum, 10), had complete validation, and at the end generated a PDF, which is sent via encrypted email to the bank, and displayed to the user for their records.

    I used PEAR::QuickFormController, PEAR::Mail, PEAR::Mail_Mime, and my custom GPG class and pdfTemplate class. Needless to say, entire development time: 8 hours (inlcuding unit tests).

    James Carr, Software Engineer


    assertEquals(newXPJob, you.ask(officeOfTheLaw));

  18. #18
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  19. #19
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    In some cases, the third one is just as obsolete...

    I use Simple Test, just whenever I can get around to it I suppose, but not yet all the time. Takes me an age to adjust to changes

    Dumped Dreamweaver MX the other week, in favour of jEdit which is lighter on my processor (P4 2Ghz), and I like the interface. Best bit.

    Other tools? None, but I don't like changes so it takes a while to move towards that I suppose. Did install the PDO extension, now starting to use that if that's any help?

  20. #20
    SitePoint Wizard silver trophy kyberfabrikken's Avatar
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    I found this thread. Looks really nice. Did anybody try something similar for php4 ?

  21. #21
    ********* Victim lastcraft's Avatar
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    Hi...

    Quote Originally Posted by OfficeOfTheLaw
    I am still working on getting some kind of automation scripts to check code out of repositories and unit test them nightly.
    Rephlux does this: http://rephlux.sourceforge.net/

    yours, Marcus
    Marcus Baker
    Testing: SimpleTest, Cgreen, Fakemail
    Other: Phemto dependency injector
    Books: PHP in Action, 97 things

  22. #22
    SitePoint Guru OfficeOfTheLaw's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lastcraft
    Hi...



    Rephlux does this: http://rephlux.sourceforge.net/

    yours, Marcus
    As usual Marcus, a life saver.

    James Carr, Software Engineer


    assertEquals(newXPJob, you.ask(officeOfTheLaw));

  23. #23
    SitePoint Evangelist djdykes's Avatar
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    HTML Kit (editor with syntax highlighting)

    PHP manual...

    Firefox

  24. #24
    SitePoint Addict pointbeing's Avatar
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    No-one mentioned Linux yet? Simply a better place from which to develop.

    Umm yeah, other must haves: SimpleTest, a bit more discipline to test consistently would be nice, grep, Martin Fowler, a brain, a pencil (and eraser), an increasing dependency on Zend Studio, a bit of courage from time to time, and b3ta.com is what gets me through the day

  25. #25
    SitePoint Enthusiast
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    Quote Originally Posted by pointbeing
    No-one mentioned Linux yet? Simply a better place from which to develop.
    That's a definite. Or from my iBook.

    On my gentoo box i use bluefish because it has syntax highlighting which is all I need. SVN for versioning management, mysql and postgresql and php5.

    Unit testing and I think that's it. Manual is helpful and sitepoint comes in second.

    Soon i'll be adding Phing, hopefully Rephlux and on the site side for must have tools will be a new installer based on portage.


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