Saturday, June 16, 2007

Eclipse PDT & Zend Debugger

I'm working on the Subversion server administration program I mentioned on my previous post. Till now, I had only programmed small projects using PHP, and didn't need a good IDE. Advanced text editors (Gedit, Notepad++ etc) were more than enough.
This time, I want to use a good IDE for ease and stability of development. I had previously read about the Eclipse PHP IDE project. So the first IDE I checked was my good old IDE Eclipse. I downloaded the PDT & Zend Debugger all in one package. And that's it, didn't try any single other PHP IDE.
I don't like PHP much. 'Type-unsafe' languages drive me mad. But Eclipse PDT was there to help me. With javadoc-like comments before variables and functions, I can notify the IDE of the type of the variables and return values of the functions. And when I call the function, or use the variable, the IDE guides me. This prevents many possible errors. This single feature of PDT was enough for me, but with that package, I also had auto-complete for PHP functions, documentation for each standart PHP function and an integrated debugger/interpreter. I didn't even need a web server (Although I already have one set-up).
For the HTML side, Aptana plug-in is my choice. I have used it on several occasions before, and I'm pleased with it.
I guess Eclipse will always be the IDE to try for any new languages.

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