Since I work with PHP a lot and I have been searching for a good editor to use on my laptop, I have decided to abandon my general purpose editor search. I have more or less adopted emacs as my general purpose editor, but it lacks something when dealing with a larger project - at least the way I use it.

Instead I am going to be testing a few different PHP IDEs. An IDE, for those who don’t know, is an integrated development environment. These programs differ from regular text editors in a few ways. Most provide syntax colouring, code completion, project management, debugging, compilation and many more functions in one program. And my preliminary search indicates that there are a few available ones that might suit my fancy. Research tells me that although PHP was/is developed for a unix like environment, PHP is most used on a Windows environment and is quite a bit more popular than ASP. So obviously a lot of the IDEs are for windows. This is fine for when I am at work, but I am also going to look for ones that will run on unix - more specifically Mac OSX.

Each IDE will be ranked on several categories and will include my comments. Obviously, since I am aiming this at business use, price will be taken into serious consideration as well. Each review will contain more and more information as I obtain it. Some of the download demos won’t be reviewed until late August, early September. The following list will contain more entries as my search continues - likely after exams. :)

Zend Studio$195 USDWin / OSX / Linux
PHP CoderFreeWin
Sokkit$19.95 USDWin 2000/XP
PHPEd$299.00 USDWin / RH
WebStudioFreeEclipse (All)
QuantaFreeLinux (KDE)

Win = Windows / OSX = Mac OS X / RH = Red Hat Linux

Written by Colin Bate