What PHP editor or IDE do you use? en

By drm on Sunday 15 November 2009 19:20 - Comments (60)
Category: Development, Views: 7.594

Eclipse PDT is bloating. I have a Intel 2.4 GHz quad core processor, 4G's of RAM running a 64bit Debian and the latest Eclipse PDT still isn't as responsive as I'd expect from state of the art software on more or less state of the art hardware. Netbeans unfortunately has the same issues.

So I was wondering, what are the alternatives? I've become quite a fan of the "UNIX principle", meaning basically that a piece of software should do one thing, and do that one thing very well, with openness to other pieces of software. What, in your honest opinion, is something that fits that goal as a PHP editor? Everything goes, but please try to elaborate :)

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By Tweakers user sunflame, Sunday 15 November 2009 19:24

I used Zend Studio and moved to Netbeans now. I just use the PHP only version. Works perfectly.

Oh.. And textpad is working for me as well :)

[Comment edited on Sunday 15 November 2009 19:28]

By een_bekende, Sunday 15 November 2009 19:27

The real geek uses VIM :9~ :D

Yeah really. I use VIM. No kidding. Don't know why actually. }:O

By Tweakers user Phyxion, Sunday 15 November 2009 19:33

Notepad. No, seriously, no PHP at all _/-\o_

[Comment edited on Sunday 15 November 2009 19:34]

By Tweakers user mlowijs, Sunday 15 November 2009 19:34

Notepad++. Light, fast, easy to use.

[Comment edited on Sunday 15 November 2009 19:34]

By Tweakers user Mike-RaWare, Sunday 15 November 2009 19:35

I second PiLotCoptEr. _/-\o_

[Comment edited on Sunday 15 November 2009 19:43]

By een_bekende, Sunday 15 November 2009 19:39

Please don't spam ^^

VIM! VIM! VIM! _/-\o_

The main reason for me running VIM is the scripting of course, and all those really neat keyboard shortcuts :*) .

By Tweakers user hostname, Sunday 15 November 2009 19:40

Eclipse PDT on a Athlon64 X2 3600+ (openSuSE 11.2 64 bit). It's really fast enough, so I wonder why it's too slow for you.

By Tweakers user ndsc, Sunday 15 November 2009 19:40

Komodo Edit for me. Not because its the best but because I cant get used to a different IDE.

By Tweakers user bastv, Sunday 15 November 2009 19:40

netbeans works the best for me. less resources great IDE

By Tweakers user ZpAz, Sunday 15 November 2009 19:47

Most people throw in an editor, an editor is something really different than an IDE.

As IDE I have Used Aptana, under Windows I use PHPDesigner 2008, under OSX as an editor I use Espresso.

By Tweakers user Roytoch, Sunday 15 November 2009 19:48

Aptana Studio, on my PC as well as on OSX. Works great but when using it at work (older PC) it is rather slow. Still like it though.

Whow, just read about the unix filosofy you like (read too slow). Aptana is NOT one program that does 1 thing real good. It has FTP and SVN etc, and does everything good enough but NOT great. So, it wouldn't be your ideal program (it's an eclipse plugin).

[Comment edited on Sunday 15 November 2009 19:51]

By Tweakers user mlowijs, Sunday 15 November 2009 19:54

What PHP editor or IDE do you use?

By Tweakers user blokje1, Sunday 15 November 2009 19:55

VIM, very strong learning curve at first. But once you are used to it, you never look back :)

By Tweakers user Stijn, Sunday 15 November 2009 20:00

EditPad Pro, it's not an IDE but works fine for my needs. I guess it's comparable to Notepad++. One of the things I like about it is its very good regular expressions support (also for search & replace etc).

By Tweakers user Pelle, Sunday 15 November 2009 20:15

Really interesting how much people are not reading the question (or do not know the difference between an IDE and an editor).

PDT 2.1 works fairly well on my PC at home (C2D E6850, 8GB, Vista), but at work it does not. (C2D E8400, 4GB, Vista). But I guess that has everything to do with accessing network resources, and not having everything on local disc.

By Tweakers user Mike-RaWare, Sunday 15 November 2009 20:20

Really interesting how many people are not reading the question and notice that he asks what PHP editor or IDE we're using.

[Comment edited on Sunday 15 November 2009 20:21]

By Tweakers user Crazed580, Sunday 15 November 2009 20:28

Editor: notepad++
IDE: netbeans

By Tweakers user Borizz, Sunday 15 November 2009 20:29

I am currently using Eclipse PDT. Eclipse PDT works fairly well, although code completion can be slow when you have a lot of PHP files in your project or in your libraries. This will be improved in PDT 2.2, I am running the development version of PDT 2.2 runtime and code completion works like a charm now.

You can also tweak the memory settings in eclipse.ini file to speed up eclipse (works for me).

I am looking forward to try Netbeans 6.8 when it's final. I am keeping an eye on the Netbeans PHP blog and there are a lot of new features and improvements in the PHP support.

I like the SVN (via subclipse) integration in Eclipse better than the SVN integration in Netbeans. So unless Netbeans comes up with some great features or speed improvements I will stick with Eclipse PDT.

By Tweakers user LuCarD, Sunday 15 November 2009 20:51

For projects and large scale development: Zend Studio for Eclipse
For small modifications: editplus

By Tweakers user Snake, Sunday 15 November 2009 20:59


Because nothing is better than Visual Studio.

I've used Eclipse, Eclipse PDT, Aptana, VI, VIM, gedit, Zend Studio 5, Zend Studio 6, Netbeans, ...

And still nothing is better than Visual Studio (as an IDE) and then this extension just does what it has to do for PHP :)

By Tweakers user Lima, Sunday 15 November 2009 21:22

For PHP IDE i use aptana, editor i use notepad++. I never tried VS because aptana is free and good enough for me :)

By Tweakers user Pelle, Sunday 15 November 2009 21:32

@Mike-RaWare You're completely right :X

By Tweakers user ZpAz, Sunday 15 November 2009 21:36

@PiloCopter -- Correct indeed... correct indeed.

By Tweakers user psychiat0r, Sunday 15 November 2009 21:43

After using a bunch of PHP IDE's, I'm now working with Netbeans.

I used to work in Zend Studio 5 which is great but sluggish and buggy and I then tried several other IDE's like PHPDesigner or Aptana/Eclipse but these didn't work for me at all.

I now use Netbeans and it's great. It does what I expect it to do, has lots of nifty features that make my life just a bit easier, does FTP and CVS/SVN and above all: is fast.

By Tweakers user HendrikN, Sunday 15 November 2009 21:47

PhpED on Windows, very quick (surely in comparison to Zend Studio or any other Eclipse-based IDE like Aptana) and also does autocomplete.

By Tweakers user LinuX-TUX, Sunday 15 November 2009 21:56

Netbeans, what else?

By Tweakers user !GN!T!ON, Sunday 15 November 2009 22:06

Editor: notepad++
IDE: netbeans

By Tweakers user Apache, Sunday 15 November 2009 22:41

Look at what Borizz said, I don't understand why the default memory settings are so low in this day and age.

Unlike all the other apps mentioned here, the jvm gets a fixed allocation of memory and tries to stay within those constraints or fails with an out of memory exception. To do this, it garbage collects and optimzes in many other ways, but taking up precious time, just give it an equal amount of memory you expect a visual studio or something to use and it'il fly.

I use many eclipses at the same time, flex/java, etc on a mac and windows and I rarely have any speed issues.

By Tweakers user Kazu, Sunday 15 November 2009 23:08

I've never actually used anything else than an editor for PHP. And that editor has always been Notepad++. Maybe I should look into using an IDE as well...

By Tweakers user Naatan, Sunday 15 November 2009 23:17

Komodo IDE all the way, there's no other IDE out there with as much flexibility as Komodo.

By Tweakers user mlowijs, Monday 16 November 2009 00:10

@Snake: Hmm, VS.PHP looks interesting... VS is a great IDE, I'll look into this, thanks!

By Tweakers user DexterDee, Monday 16 November 2009 03:56

Komodo IDE. It is not as verbose as eclipse, but it is pretty flexible and much, much, much, much, much faster than eclipse, while supporting the necessary featureset of a good IDE (debugging, subversion integration, syntax highlighting on all important extensions)

By Tweakers user durian, Monday 16 November 2009 07:08

The real geek uses VIM
Nee, de echte gebruikt VI, VIM is een bloated piece of ...

Ik zelf zweer bij Emacs, en voor kleine dingetjes soms VI.

By Tweakers user ACM, Monday 16 November 2009 07:56

Currently I'm using eclipse+pdt, but the multi-second pauses are getting more and more annoying. So when I noticed JetBrains (those guys from IDEA) started building a php-only version of their IDE, me and a colleague started using that as well.
So far its actually pretty good, although also clearly not a finished product yet. But they do have features that - afaik - no other php IDE has, especially in the way they can track (not just by using phpdoc or looking at in-scope declarations) which type some object is and such.

By Tweakers user HyperBart, Monday 16 November 2009 09:02

En wat is nu het verschil tussen een IDE en een Editor?

By Tweakers user Roconda, Monday 16 November 2009 09:39

I use kate (http://kate-editor.org/), its a KDE application. You don't have to run KDE to run kate. I like kate because of the syntax highlighting, it's not a IDE tho..

Good luck! :9

By Tweakers user Omega007, Monday 16 November 2009 10:01

I quit Eclipse because of its speed. I'm a happy Netbeans user now

By Tweakers user drm, Monday 16 November 2009 10:07

Excellent responses here, keep 'm coming :-) Next post will be a roundup / shoot-out.

edit: BTW, excellent to see JetBrains are developing a PHP IDE too, I have been most impressed by IDEA from the start... :) I am trying that one first :-P

[Comment edited on Monday 16 November 2009 10:41]

By Tweakers user Pelle, Monday 16 November 2009 10:47

@ACM That's pretty neat. Object type tracking is something I'm missing in Eclipse/PDT almost everyday.

By Tweakers user ZpAz, Monday 16 November 2009 11:22


Een IDE heeft veel meer functies dan een editor, zo heeft het diverse debugging mogelijkheden. Soms on-the-fly parsing van de PHP zodat je meteen kan zien of je bepaalde errors tegen gaat komen.

Vaak zit er mogelijkheden in om te exporteren naar PHPDoc, en heeft het vaak ook autocomplete voor eigen code. (Het leest je code dus uit, en als je dan functies e.d typed, dan autocomplete hij bestaande functies, classes variabelen e.d uit je project.

By Tweakers user skabouter, Monday 16 November 2009 11:46

I used Aptana for a long time, but since version 2.0 I stopped usein it becouse of;
Aptana PHP is no longer included in Aptana Studio 2.0, and only PDT will be supported going forward. Developers who wish to continue using Aptana PHP should continue using Studio 1.5.x.
Now I'm on netbeans 6.8 beta

By Tweakers user Barleone, Monday 16 November 2009 11:55

Sept 2007 I started using Zend Studio wich was an awesome IDE with integrated debugger (directly debug the script from IE). Because that was a trial and my company didn't want to buy licences we all changed to Eclipse + PDT. It did the job for me, but I couldn't get the debugger to work. Just then I started debugging with 'echo' and 'var_dump'. I worked on a HP p4 desktop wich took about 15 minutes to start eclipse. So yes, Eclipse is a frustrating app to start, but after startup the speed was satisfying.

By Tweakers user zoef84, Monday 16 November 2009 11:59

For Mac users: try Coda
Very nice piece of software!

By Jeroen, Monday 16 November 2009 12:17

u very bad english wot?

Volg eerst maar een engelse cursus. :)

By Tweakers user kwaakvaak_v2, Monday 16 November 2009 12:41

netbeans under snow leopard, works like a breeze for me.. No more zend studio and that awfull slowness for me ;)

By Tweakers user fleppuhstein, Monday 16 November 2009 12:43

Just VIM, has it all.

By Tweakers user drm, Monday 16 November 2009 13:58

I see some comments about VIM, kate, editpro, notepad++, etc, in my book "just editors with highlighting".

How do you combine this with building / validation / code navigation, etc? I've seen presentations where vi was used as an editor, but navigating to a function declaration for example, was done by search for "ion bla" so as to match function bla( ...), is this how you use it? Other tips / tricks to get near such features in IDE's?

By Tweakers user base_, Monday 16 November 2009 14:00

Eclipse PDT, just take care what extensions to enable (code completion can be a pain in the #$@#)

and for those that stille don't understand the difference between an IDE and an editor: wiki quote:
An IDE normally consists of:
- a source code editor
- a compiler and/or an interpreter
- build automation tools
- a debugger

so an IDE does a little bit more than just code highlighting ;)

By Tweakers user RoadRunner84, Monday 16 November 2009 20:20

VIM? Why do you need colour highlighting and stuff like that? I use VI

By Tweakers user onok, Tuesday 17 November 2009 17:49

I am coding php for over 10 years now, and i have yet to find the perfect editor. At the moment i use crimson editor and sometimes htmlkit.

By Tweakers user xdcx, Thursday 19 November 2009 21:32

PDT + Aptana 1.5
the aptana php thingy is faster than the PDT's also aptana has Smarty and HTML support

for php-only editing:
Zend Studio 7

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By Stas, Friday 9 December 2011 16:33

I suggest Codelobster PHP Edition.
It's most powerful among free code editors.
Some advantages of this editor are: intellectual autocomplete, FTP,
folding code, navigation with Ctrl for all links and descriptions and
incremental searching
Important feature of this editor is presence of special plugins for
Drupal CMS, Joomla CMS, Smarty template engine, JQuery library, CodeIgniter framework,
CakePHP framework, Facebook social network and WordPress blogging platform.

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