Php ide

locogeek94

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I currently use Netbeans for my PHP projects.
Is there anything better?

Looking for:
1) Free or low cost.
2) Editable syntax color/fonts.
3) Code hints/completion.
4) Display line errors.
5) Debugging.

Or maybe for the price, I should stay w/ Netbeans.
I can live w/ the slow startup loading time.
 

essellar

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tl;dr -- Netbeans is still the best option on a slower machine.

The really good alternatives, like Zend Studio and Aptana, are even slower -- they're absolutely wonderful to work with, library-aware, have integrated everything and play nice with version control systems like Mercurial, Git and SVN... and they're based on Eclipse, so you need a gronking supercharged workstation-class machine to keep from feeling like you're working with a VT-100 and waiting for your keystrokes to be echoed back from the mainframe. At least with Netbeans, once you pay the start-up tax you're pretty much up to working speed on an older machine.

You can get faster IDEs than Netbeans, but I haven't found a single one that's anything like satisfactory. If you choose a font where you can actually tell the difference between 0 and O or 1 and l, or m and rn, then the on-screen cursor is usually off by a couple of characters and selection marking is a joke. There are really good, fast editors, but things like debugging are all outboard, so you're not really gaining that much.

If you're on a *nix machine (Linux, BSD, OS X) you can make Emacs do the job if you're into keyboard chords -- most of the Lisp has already been done and can be downloaded; you just have to accommodate what other people thought were reasonable key combinations. (You'll probably wind up thinking that neckbeards have oddly-shaped hands.) It's fast, it does the job, but it's a real pain in the butt to set up and you have to memorize everything -- it's like working with the old DOS version of WordPerfect (ever seen one of those plastic keyboard templates?).
 

Dead-i

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Personally I use Eclipse for PHP Projects, Debugging, etc. I think it's a brilliant application and use it every day :)
 

essellar

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Eclipse (and the apps/views based on it) is great if your machine can handle it. If you're running 1GB or less of memory or are on a P4-class or Atom machine, it's a real monster. The slowness will make you think wistfully of the days of the Z80 and 6502. Core2 or better and 4GB? Then you're in great shape. Startup still sucks, since you've got to get the JVM stoked and up to pressure first -- it has that in common with Netbeans -- but the app itself is fast enough once it's running if you've got enough machine. (Been using Eclipse and apps based on it for many a long year; as an IBM platform developer, it has been a big part of my toolkit.)
 

Dead-i

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Well, I'm on a desktop computer with 2.4GHz, Intel Core2 and 2GB memory w/ Vista, so I guess that's why it works so smoothly for me. :)
 

callumacrae

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I LOVE Komodo IDE, but unfortunately it is pretty expensive. If you are a student, it is worth contacting them and asking for a discount - I heard that they offer a pretty heavy discount to students.
 

essellar

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I'd go along with Komodo IDE too, but make sure it's the IDE. Komodo Edit is free (and a really good editor), but it sure ain't an IDE. The only downside, as Callum pointed out, is the cost. It's more than worth it if you're making a living at this stuff, but if you're not, well... (I wonder if a grey-hair with a long industry track record can persuade them that he's a student?)
 

theone48

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I'm assuming you're talking of programs that make programs, not of actual programs themselves.

"I wonder if a grey-hair with a long industry track record can persuade them that he's a student?"

Well, you can always dye your hair black, hide your resume under the sofa and sprout a goatee, lol. Oh, and don't forget to slouch when you walk into the office, and chew on a wad of bubblegum. :)
 

essellar

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Yes -- an IDE is an Integrated Development Environment. That is a program that will let you:

1. Edit code. This usually features things like autocompletion of keywords and function names in the language you're using, "code folding", which let's you collapse and expand sections of code so you only see what you need to see, automatic indenting, syntax highlighting (which makes it easy to tell what is programming language, what is data, and, often, what kind of data you're dealing with) -- things that make it a lot quicker and easier to edit code.

2. Manage code and other resources.

3. Test and debug the code you're working with.

4. Integrate with a version control system, which is a lot better than using things like "old", "new", "newnew", "latest" and "final" in filenames for managing and rolling back changes.

There are often tools that make it easier to work with and manage databases and so forth as well. You can certainly write a large, complete and sophisticated system in PHP using only Notepad and a web browser to check the results, but that's making your life a lot harder than it needs to be. (This is covered in my book.)

I'd also have to use some sort of putty to fill in the crags and crevices -- hair dye alone isn't going to cut it for me.
 

theone48

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"I'd also have to use some sort of putty to fill in the crags and crevices -- hair dye alone isn't going to cut it for me."

lol, sounds like you'll be breaking out the plaster of paris, ha ha ha! Thanks for the info on IDE.
 

callumacrae

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I have yet to find a popular IDE with decent support for version control systems. It might support committing and adding / removing files, but most don't support remotes, and none that I have seen support rebasing and branching (which are both very important).
 
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