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PHP IDE'sFriday 11th August 2006
I'm always on the look out of ways of making development easier (and cheaper). I do most my web development in PHP (as it's free...).

Being a scripted language, you can write PHP in any text editor, such as notepad. Just like HTML. But it's a pain in the arse to do so. The best way to develop, in my humble opinion is with an IDE (Integrated Development Environment). These provide all-sorts of lovely features to make it easier to write code.

The best IDE I have used to date is Zend Studio. The down side to this product, is the price tag. Which is about 160.

What I really look for in a PHP IDE is the following:

• Intellisense (e.g. code prompts, but able to pick up your own class structure and methods)
• Free (yeah, whatever, I don't charge you for viewing my site...)
• Class viewer
• Syntax highlighting (well, if it doesn't, then it's notepad)
• Auto ident (and unindent)
• Auto completion of things such as brackets and quotes. But, when you write over the closing character, it doesn't repeat it.

I have looked at a few, including these:
PHP Designer
PHP Eclipse
PHP Edit
Dev PHP
PHP Side

Dev PHP was the first free one I tried for a while. It just wasn't any good. Buggy, and not very nice to use.

PHP Side, I started, then deleted, just didn't feel good enough.

PHP Edit I used for a while, whilst it was in Beta. But they started charging for it, so I gave up on that. It was a very good quick edit program, but that's all. If I had to pay anything for a quick edit program, I would go for UltraEdit.

PHP Designer 2005 I used for a while on my latest piece of work, but dropped it because it's poor class browser and project support.

I then came to the conclusion of PHP Eclipse. This is based on the maturing Eclipse project, which is most common as a Java IDE. So the environment is much the same, and offers all the features you would expect from a professional IDE. I feel quite at home when working with Eclipse along side other tools I use like Visual Studio 2005 (which, obviously, doesn't support PHP).

So if you are looking for a comprehensive IDE, then I would go with PHP Eclipse. For quick edits, go with something simpler like UltraEdit, or if you don't mind the IDE loading times, Dreamweaver.


Advert MusicWednesday 2nd August 2006
I have been finding my main source of new music these days is TV adverts, as the charts are generally poor.

There have been a few tracks recently that I have liked.

• Zurich Insurance: A custom track by Spacetrain
• Volkswagen Evo: The Dallas Guild - Men in White Coats
• Lexus IS: Ross Gregory - Fibre Optic

The Dallas Guild's song is available to purchase, and a sample can be found on their website

As for the Fibre Optic track, I e-mailed the company who produces this and they said they intending to release a full length version on iTunes. Which is a shame, as I don't have an iPod, I have an alternative.

Still, you can get a 40 second clip from their site, www.aardvarksound.co.uk.


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