7 Popular PHP integrated development tools (IDE) comparison _php Tutorials

Source: Internet
Author: User
Tags ftp client
This article explores all the uses of the integrated development environment (IDE) and compares the costs and benefits of 7 popular Ides.

Writing a series of articles about PHP gave me a deeper understanding of the world of PHP developers. I've talked to a lot of PHP programmers and it's amazing to me that only a few people use the IDE. Most programmers use text editors, such as Notepad, Emacs, or Vim on microsoftwindows.

The text editors I mentioned (and I didn't mention) are pretty good--I don't want to discuss which editor is better. However, I would like to emphasize that not using a text editor will give you a deeper insight into PHP code. Almost everyone treats the PHP project as just a file directory (a very partial view). Now let me take you to the IDE's world and show you what the IDE can--or should--bring to you and introduce you to the seven most popular Ides.

What is an IDE?

In short, the IDE provides a one-stop service for coding efforts. The IDE includes an editor in which you can edit code, debug code, view code in a browser (usually embedded), and check in and check out source control. To support these features, the IDE has a set of features that are not found in the basic Editor (such as Notepad or vim). Of course, you can implement these features by extending the editor, but the IDE includes all of these features in a thin package-and is preconfigured:


One of the key features of the IDE is that it sees a PHP application as a project, not just a set of files. The concept-project-maintains additional information, such as the configuration of source control, the database settings for debugging, and the location of a critical directory.


Another convenient feature is integrated debugging. With this feature, you can set breakpoints in the editor and stop when the PHP interpreter executes the script. Starting at the breakpoint, you can examine the value of the local variable and diagnose the problem in your code. You can use the Echo statement in your code to examine the value, or you can use the error log to get the value of the variable.

Code Intelligence

PHP is a very regular programming language, which means it follows a simple pattern. These patterns not only make the code easy to write, but also make it easy for the IDE to examine the code in the project. In addition, they can help you write programs by displaying check results. For example, if you define a class named MyClass in your project, the IDE immediately provides a pop-up window that includes MyClass as an option when you type the keyword new. When you use an object of that type, the IDE displays its available methods and instance variables. When you start typing a function command, the IDE displays its available parameters. To be fair, this is the primary reason why you should use the IDE instead of the text editor. This code intelligence can effectively reduce the typing of the wrong class name, method name, and parameters.

Class View

Another role that the code intelligence engine in the IDE produces is that the IDE can produce a Class view of the project. Instead of displaying files, the system displays different classes that have already been defined, regardless of the file they reside in. When you click a class, the editor accesses the file and displays the appropriate class, method, or instance variable. This is a great way to navigate a large project.

Multi-lingual support

Each of the Ides mentioned here supports not only PHP but also the associated set of languages: JavaScript, Structuredquerylanguage (SQL), Hypertextmarkuplanguage (HTML) and Cascadingstylesheets (CSS). Because HTML and CSS are relatively simple, the IDE supports them best. Support for JavaScript often highlights syntax, but support is better than unsupported.

Source Control

All the Ides evaluated here support a number of connections to the source control system, allowing file versions to be maintained over time in the project. You can mark a special version of a file as a release version so that you can recover it if you need to undo the change. It is critical to use the source control system in a team environment, even for personal use. A good source control system can work when the disk is paralyzed or the customer suddenly wants the previous version instead of the current version. Most Ides support Concurrentversionsystem (CVS) and subversion, both of which are open source control systems. One of the Ides supports perforce--a commercial source control system.

FTP/SFTP Integration

A feature associated with source control is the use of FTP on the server for the latest code. This is much easier than using an FTP client or packaging a file and sending it to the server and then unpacking it.

Database navigation

A non-basic but very useful feature is database navigation. With this feature, you can browse the database that the application accesses, find the table and field names, and return the query results. Some systems can even write some database access code automatically.

Integrated Web browser

Some IDES support an integrated Web browser that allows you to navigate directly to a page that is being edited using the specified additional parameters, which can be hosted inside the IDE or externally. Honestly, I don't really like the integrated browser because I don't mind switching between the two separate applications that edit the code and view the results. But I know it does make a difference, but you don't have to use it.


The last feature I found in all of these Ides was support for the entire segment and custom code snippets. A fragment is a small piece of code that completes a small task, such as running a regular expression in some inputs, connecting to a database, and querying a database.

The above summarizes the core features that are currently expected from the purchased or open source IDE. Next, you'll introduce some of the popular Ides, show some IDE pictures, and explain the features they support and their costs.
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