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PHP for Beginners – Choosing an IDE.

Mar23

Written by:
2010/03/23 08:10 AM RssIcon

In order to write programs of any kind one needs some software to write it in. At this moment in time technology has not advanced to the stage where we can think and the computer can interpret our thoughts and write that out into code. We have to do the hard work ourselves.

An IDE, or Integrated Development Environment, is the tool that makes this job a lot easier. In the PHP world there are just so many IDE’s to choose from. Unlike in .NET where there are really only two, in the PHP world there are hundreds. Just GooglePHP IDE

I am not going to do a review post or mention all of the IDE’s available. You can do some homework yourself and browse the Google results.

An old post yet relevant is a review done by IBM on PHP IDE’s. Read it at Seven great PHP IDEs compared

What do you need from an IDE

Different people have different needs. Fortunately the PHP world is so vast that almost everybody’s needs can be met. Whether you want simplicity or functionality, whether you want a combination of the two. Whether you want  an open source or a commercial solution, there is an IDE waiting for you.

Read the article from Smashingmagazine on PHP IDEs, Why use one and which one to choose.

Which One?

Here are a few to get you started. If you don’t like one, delete it and download and test the next one.

Notepad++ - One of the most widely used tools for PHP coders. Not really an IDE but more of a text editor. It has some simple syntax highlighting and a few other functionalities. But if you feel that you are a coding guru, then this one is of you. In this category we also include PSPad, TextMate, vim and Emacs.

VS-PHP – PHP for Visual studio is a plug in for Visual Studio that enables you to write and debug PHP code. It takes on a lot of the VS IDE functionality like intellisense, code completion, syntax highlighting, as well as debugging. An excellent choice for all our .NET programmers.

Dev-PHP - Dev-PHP is a well-featured IDE for PHP. Fast and powerful, it is easy to use and has a lot of cool features : class browser, scripts preview, integration with PHP parsers, PHP-GTK library, and Xdebug of course. Dev-PHP-usb slips even into your pocket.

Netbeans – A free excellent IDE, with more functionality than you can use. The PHP editor is dynamically integrated with HTML, JavaScript and CSS editing features, and the JavaScript and Xdebug debuggers. The NetBeans PHP editor offers code templates and generation (Getters and Setters), refactoring (Instant Rename), parameter tooltips, hints and quick fixes (Implement All Abstract Methods), and smart code completion (including bracket completion). Benefit from syntactic and semantic code highlighting, pop-up documentation, code formatting and folding, and marking of occurrences and exit points.

Zend Studio – Zend Studio offer a free trial and commercial version. Also filled with functionality.  Zend Studio 7.1 is the next generation PHP IDE. It has been designed to maximize developer productivity by enabling you to develop and maintain code faster, solve application problems quickly and improve team collaboration.

Conclusion.

There are a whole bunch of good PHP IDE software which I have not covered. Your homework is to find one that works for you. One that has all the functionality that you need. If not, then just choose one of the above, and we are good to go.

Lets get coding.

Related Articles:

PHP for Beginners – Introduction

Writing PHP Code in Visual Studio

Is PHP a skill set or a professional track.

C# (.NET) vs PHP Which is a better web development platform

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