As newbie i use Notepad++. It's a bit more powerfull text editor than plain notepad, but does all the things i need. I downloaded Eclipse, but it was for bloody java. Maybe this month i'll try it again.
Also i tried PHP Professional 7 free version, and it looked fine
I really enjoy Komodo, it the only IDE that allows the same exact layout across any platform (Win, Linux, Mac) and it support (ASP, PHP, Perl, Ruby (Rails), Python) plus it has great tie-in's with many of the top web services, Yahoo API, MSN API, GOOGLE API, CakePHP. makes designing web services really quick, no matter what scripting language you are using.
My favorite is Eclipse, because it includes support for even more languages, but it has a higher learning curve compared to Komodo. When you do finally figure it out, it's truly an awesome IDE.
For online, I really like PHP_Online, the IDE for Firefox, took me almost a year to get copy of it, but wow, it's so cool. I like fact that the PHP Developer mailing list can be searched and you can highlight any code that you find on any web page and debug it right from there, or add to your code library, with a mouse click. Plus the IDE has most all the features that Zend Studio has plus many very nice personal options, like version debugger, support any version of PHP including any version ever released in PHP (4, 5), select a version, debug in that version. Helps you figure out what exact versions of PHP will work with your application.
well at the moment I'm using Maguma Open Studio... however it's debug button should be named a "freeze the program for about 10 seconds without doing anything" button. Other than that it's like every other IDE... lots of options I haven't played with yet. a little buggy too with context based suggestions. Actually, why am using this. I'm going back to notepad2.
Eclipse seems so bloated to me, probably because it's coded in Java (and being coded by IBM probably didn't help either.) I use screen+vim for any coding, I don't particularly like any IDEs despite promised increases in productivity. The only exception to this 'rule' is that Visual Studio is great for GUI C# apps.
But back to PHP, ssh+screen+vim = unbeatable in my opinion. No messing about with FTP, no need to find your place again, no need to think about anything but the absolute minimum. But it's all in the console so nobody's interested in that Who wants speed and convenience when you can have bloat and prettiness?
__________________ Every PHP programmer of any skill level should set error_reporting(E_ALL); at the top of their scripts or in their php.ini