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Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Best IDE for PHP: Edit, code, Autocorrect, run & debug

Let me begin this time with a theoretical answer- Nothing is good or bad. What suits you best is best for you!

Amused! Now, let Anwar come to the real analysis and advice.

I have seen people settling with Aptana now a days. It's reasonably fast, but chokes on large files when syntax highlighting is on. Setting up PHP debugging is hard. But three good things about Aptana: easy plugin installations, very fast and intuitive Subversion plugins, lighting fast file search.

I tried Eclipse PDT and Zend for Eclipse, but they have nightmare interface when it comes to PHP code. Installing plugins is a living horror of version mismatches and cryptic error messages.

I also use Komodo. Komodo has a very intuitive interface, but is ridiculously slow, chokes on medium sized files with syntax highlighting. File search is intuitive, but rather slow. Subversion integration is not that great - slow and buggy. But trust me on this, if you are using 16 GB RAM laptop or computer, Komodo will beat up on any rivals.

There is again another good player in this field. Enters PhpDesigner!!
The main pro of this one is that it's NOT Java based. This keeps the whole thing quick. I am listing its features that i collected from an internet post (Why to type again if its listed. Thanks to that man!)

Intelligent Syntax Highlighter - automatic switch between PHP, HTML, CSS, and JavaScript depending on your position! Lets see the languages supported!

PHP (both version 4 and 5 are supported)
SQL (MySQL, MSSQL 2000, MSSQL 7, Ingres, Interbase 6, Oracle, Sybase)
CSS (both version 1 and 2.1 are supported)

Support for both PHP 4 and PHP 5

Code Explorer for PHP (includes, classes, extended classes, interfaces, properties, functions, constants and variables)
Code Completion (IntelliSense) for PHP - code assist as you type
Code Tip (code hint) for PHP - code assist as you type
Work with any PHP frameworks (access classes, functions, variables, etc. on the fly)
PHP object oriented programming (OOP) including nested objects
Support for PHP heredoc
Enclose strings with single- or double quotes, linefeed, carriage return or tabs
PHP server variables
PHP statement templates (if, else, then, while…)
Powerful PHP Code Beautifier with many configurations and profile support
phpDocumentor wizard
Add phpDocumentor documentation to functions and classes with one click!
phpDocumentor tags
Comment or uncomment with one click!
Jump to any declaration with filtering by classes, interfaces, functions, variables or constants
Debug (PHP):

Debug with Xdebug

Step by step debugging
Step into
Step over
Run to cursor
Run until return
Call stack
Context variables
Multiple sessions
Evaluation tip
Catch errors

Please note that the above features are decision making attributes. I analysed all other IDEs as well, over these parameters and able to reach some conclusion. Atleast for me i know who the bride would be. Ah! Bridegroom for all those female readers ;)

Coming  to my final verdict. I find its the Komodo that wins!
It has the best debugging facilities of any PHP IDE I have tried, is a very mature product and has more useful features than you can shake a stick at. Of note, it has a fantastic HTTP inspector, Javascript debugger and Regular Expression Toolkit. You can get it so that it steps through your PHP, then you see your Javascript running, and then see your HTTP traffic going out over the wire!

It also comes in free (Komodo Edit) and open (OpenKomodo versions). And, remember, Komodo is best suited for many other languages as well like Python.

* Please note: I am having messed up times because of two sweet angels at ma home. The frequency of posts have decreased, but i promise to come up with more researched book that i promised. And guess what, the poetry book that i was working upon is almost complete now. My wife is so enthusiastic for it :)

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