Easy and Cheap PHP Editor…that’s good too…

As far as PHP coding goes I suppose I would rather not, but since I’m now getting into Drupal it seems that I’m facing the inevitable need of getting my hands on some kind of PHP Editor that helps with programming. I’ll be straight up on this –> I don’t like PHP. I’m a C++ and Java guy. I like Python too. PHP is a foul and dirty language and after a session with it I usually find myself in need of a shower and a lot of alcohol.

But hey I’m screwing with Drupal a lot so I gotta learn it; I’m willing to learn anything…I’m also willing to change my mind and have no problem admitting I’m an impulsive and “slam the door shut” kind of guy. So now you can put away all those nasty comments and just help me out. I need a decent IDE for PHP coding. I don’t need all the bells and whistles.

Here’s a list of what I need:

  • Ability to work with Drupal and its libraries and modules
  • Syntax checking and highlighting
  • Works on MS Vista (yes yes this sucks, but I have to do it – sigh)
  • Ability to also have syntax highlighting and checking for HTML
  • Does not insert weird wacky crap into my code

That’s about it. So far I’ve come up with a short list of tools that sound like good candidates. I’ve looked at a bunch of other review posts. Unfortunately these posts never get to the point and clearly say which tool is the best and why. I’m not going to re-hash all that crap, google it if you like. I’ll include a few links at the end of this to posts I thought were helpful. Here’s the tools I’m going to look at:

As I said this PHP stuff is a low bugest thing for me so I’m leaning towards free stuff. The above list is a mix. Since I already mentioned I’m a Java and C++ bigot I’ll admit I’m drawn to the Eclipse based solutions since they are free and I already use Eclipse for lots of stuff.

What’s the Deal?

I’m not going to beat this to death. PDT and PHPEclipse both are no good for me. A big disappointment for me since these would fit best for me. Both tools do not work with my current Eclipse configs and both tools require a lot of setup and “project configuration” type crap that is just too much sweat for me. Perhaps great for true PHP programmers, but not for me. Of the two PDT is definitely the way to go. PHPEclipse ought to give it up and join forces with PDT since they are sponsored by Zend and IBM.

Zend Studio is nice, but there’s no free version…so forget it.

Maguma Studio does not work well on Vista. I did get it to install, but then it was flaky around screen refreshes and it has a bizarre project concept. I couldn’t figure out how to create a project…and I’ve been screwing with lot of IDEs for about 15 years so if I can’t figure it out then it surely can’t be easy.

So down to the ActiveState guys. I’ve used their Perl stuff. Its good. So is their PHP stuff. They have a full IDE and a “lighter” thing they call “Editor”. From my quick perusal this Editor is what I need. I downloaded it and installed it with no issues. It has syntax checking, highlighting, function lookup, and some other ancillary features in a decent layout that is easy to work with and get going. Perfect for me – done deal.

To get going in KAS just download, use the MSI and you’re good to go. I created a project, added my directories, and I was off and running with writing stuff…er well or at least browsing thru and being dangerous 🙂

The first step with KAS is just to create a project. I created mine in my Drupal root. KAS seemed to know what to do and I could see all my files and everything was cool This is great. Perhaps one of the other tools or KAS IDE will be better for me as I learn, but for now this is just what I wanted.

Let me know what you think of this. If you’ve got a better suggestion for a tool leave a comment.

On the other reviews…sorry…I guess I forgot…but just google on “php ide” and you’ll pull up a bunch of stuff.

UPDATE (27-Nov-07):

Shortly after installing this and rebooting I started getting constant crashes with a popup message box: CLI has stopped working. In typical MS fashion, the box has no error codes, information, or anything else that might help you understand what is wrong or causing the problem. I would get this message whenever Komodo was open and I was doing anything. I checked the net – it took a while to find an explanation – but finally I did. Many thanks to Tengku Zahasma. I followed his suggestion and upgraded to PHP 5.2.5 and now all is well.

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