I've been thinking about switching from my current PhpEd / UltraEdit combination to using this VS.PHP plugin that I just found a few days ago. The problem is that I don't have much free time, so I'm hoping that there are other people who can give me an opinion on it, especially concerning the remote debugging capabilities since I always run the dev server on a linux VM.

Since I primarily do C# work in VS for my regular job, it would be great to stay in the same environment even when working on all of my personal PHP projects (and no, I'm not a big fan of PHP but I'm pretty much forced to use it).

Edit: I have tried the various Eclipse-based environments, but have always had issues getting debugging to really work well. PhpEd has the best debugger that I've used so far.


I never made it past the install. I opened up a PHP file and noticed that it used its own fonts and coloring scheme. Searched in the settings for well over an hour trying to find the settings to fix the colors so it wouldn't be black on black. Didn't find anything. Uninstalled.

If you're looking for a good IDE to use with PHP, the best option available is Zend Studio. And don't go with the Eclipse version unless you love Eclipse and the huge resource hog that it is. Go with version 5.x. It's what I use and I absolutely love it.

Jeremy Privett
Voted down because I don't think this answer is relevant anymore. Maybe back in 8/08 the text settings were harder to find or didn't exist. FYI: The Php text editor color settings are right were they should be next to the C# and VB editor settings. Tools -> Options -> Text Editor -> Php

Is there any good free alternatives for VS.PHP?

try out the free version of phpDesigner
+2  A: 

I remember being disappointed by it. I haven't touched it in a couple of years, though. I tend to use Dreamweaver for my PHP editing simply because its site manager seems to work quite well. I also tend to not code in PHP anymore, though.

You could try sticking to your current methods and using Firebug to help debug your PHP.


You could try sticking to your current methods and using Firebug to help debug your PHP.

I use Firebug all the time for client-side dev, but I'd never seen FirePHP, thanks!

The How-To Geek

For PHP development, I use Aptana Studio, which is built on Eclipse. Aptana also has an Eclipse plugin, but I'm not sure if that's just for Rails or if it includes PHP. There are also a variety of other Eclipse plugins for PHP. That's if you want to make the jump to an Eclipse environment...

Thomas Owens
I use Aptana also. Quite good.
Bob Somers
+1  A: 

One of the trainees I mentor settled on using VS.php, the debugger seems to work pretty well, but I've only see it working on the apache instance that VS.php fires up for you, not a true remote 'server'.

Dave Marshall
+1  A: 

The closest thing out there to give VS grade editing to PHP is phpDesigner, it's very affordable too, there's a free version but a commercial copy is only $60 usd (give or take) and gives you access to step-by-step debugging and some other VS grade features.

+1  A: 

Try the free, super powerful and easy to use NetBeans IDE. I think it blows Eclipse out of the water.

no downloads available for that project ... still
That is an old link. It is currently at version 6.8 and is still the best IDE I've used.
+1  A: 

I love VS.PHP. I'm writing a book on Drupal for Windows developers and I have found that the latest release of VS.PHP (2.9 I believe) works wonderfully with Visual Studio 2010. I used WampServer for the MySQL service (VS.PHP comes with its own Apache and PHP). Then I loaded the Drupal 6 source, created a new PHP project, hit F5 and it worked like you would expect ASP.NET to work. With breakpoints and step debugging.

It spun up its own Apache on some random port and fired up Intenet Explorer. You can change to another browser if you want, of course, but the default is IE.

If you are a C# or VB programmer, this is a wonderful way to learn and develop in PHP. You get Intellisense, watchpoints, variable interrogation, and other goodies. It even has an interface to PHP syntax help.

Of course, there are some little glitches, but I did not have any trouble finding solutions; the JCX Software site has a pretty good forum.

Brian Travis