View Full Version : IDE for PHP?

11-21-2009, 02:45 PM
I have been using notepad++ and quite happy with it. It seems like a specialised IDE
for PHP is better than an editor. Most of the IDEs have a commercial licence,
but if there is a free IDE that does the job well, i'd be happy to use it.I have never used an IDE before and therefore I cannot
choose the best IDE for PHP on windows and cannot decide if it is worth (buying and) learning it.
Can you please suggest the best IDE?.

11-21-2009, 03:19 PM
There is no such thing as the best simply because people have different expectations of things. How about telling people what you expect off an IDE?

I personally am happy with Textpad (shareware), Eclipse (freeware), netbeans (freeware) simply because they have code coloring, some error catching, and in the latter two, source control. I'm sure they can do lot more than that but like I said above, those are my basic expectations of an IDE and all I really need.

11-21-2009, 04:04 PM
When I started using php a buddy of mine suggested I use Zend Studio. It's a great IDE imo.

11-21-2009, 04:27 PM
shadowmaniac: I have no idea what to expect from an IDE since I have never used one in the first place. At the moment i just echo the variables, if the IDE has a console in which variables and run time values can be seen, it would be nice. In addition to that,anything that helps debugging / error catching would be nice. I suppose autocomplete would be a nice option. Another feature i can think of is when user double clicks the end brace, it goes to the opening brace - this would be useful to see where the if loops start and whether the braces are closed. other features to ease and accelerate development (i have no clue what they would be!) nice. I personally like lean softwares such as notepad++ and it is not a lot of (potentially) useless/sparingly used features that iam after.

11-21-2009, 08:42 PM
phpDesigner is my favorite IDE. I think you can get a free trial, it use to be free, sadly not anymore. When I don't use phpDesigner I use Notepad2 which is nice lightweight tool.

11-21-2009, 08:49 PM
I use netbeans and i like it

11-22-2009, 06:42 PM
i use dreamweaver in source view as pretty much just a colour coded note pad although its handy with its ftp dev/testing/live auto uploads and work flowing as well as its auto sync into my svn server.

11-23-2009, 11:22 AM
thanks for your suggestion. php designer 2007 personal edition is free , cant be used commercially though. Netbeans seems be good although i don't understand things like callstack,watch, breakpoints etc.I guess it takes a few months of usage before it becomes intuitive.shadowmaniac and holyblast: how long have you been using netbeans?.

11-23-2009, 12:16 PM
IDE's, for php

These are the best i have used Dreamweaver is much the most used but i dont like it its a bit lacking on the IDE front

Visual Studios with VS.PHP
Delphi for PHP,
Zend Studio

Aptana -- this is baised on Eclipse

11-23-2009, 03:50 PM
Have used NetBeans and Eclipse for a few years now when I was still programming in Java but NetBeans with PHP support was only released late last year. So, to answer your question: less than a year for NetBeans PHP
If you're only going to be using PHP in NetBeans, I suggest you only download the PHP version. Last time I used the "full" version (i.e. with Java, C/C++, ... support), it was a huge resource hog and tended to crash quite often if left on 24/7 while multitasking.

For breakpoints, you can think of the IDE as a DVD player, the breakpoint as a pause feature and your code as the movie. To set the breakpoint, you have to click on the grey line to the left - vague but there are some video tutorials online on the NetBeans site itself.
"Watch" is something you can use in conjunction with breakpoints. Basically allows you to setup a list of variables that let you see the value of those variables at some point or other in your code, based on where the breakpoints have been set.

Good luck and yes, takes a while to get used to and learn the features but once you learn them, they can be quite helpful.

12-09-2009, 03:15 PM
as far as IDE's I have to give my hat to phpdesigner it is hands down the best it also allows you to run scripts directly from the editor as it comes with the php framework. It color codes and does realtime checking as would a spellchecker. And as far as it being resource intensive it is slighty more than your standard windows notepad.
There is netbeans but it is very slow loading and a memory hog and bulky. however it is free.

12-09-2009, 03:22 PM
Not to double post but there is also PHP Expert Editor. With some configuration you can have it run scripts directly off of your local phpserver such as WAMP or XAMMP but what is nice about this software is that it has toggles to collapse each function or part of the code. so it kind of allows you to see where each statement begins and ends. again it is not free but there are trials out there.