Ok, heres one I've been saving for the day SO comes through.

Ive always been a Zend Studio user (PHP developer here, 5 years self taught). Just fairly recently Zend introduced an Eclipse version of Studio which, albeit a lot easier to install I keep hitting walls when it comes to setup, some things are just 20-click retarded (e.g. configuring an SFTP site).

Being I've seen Eclipse in use on a fairly large amount of programming languages, I know im surely missing the point, so. Questions: is it worth it? Are there any nicely written tutorials I can follow?

My dream IDE does highlighting and code completion for PHP, CSS and Javascript, any suggestions? ... For the mac?

Cheers, Thx.


+2  A: 

Eclipse PDT works just fine for me which is what Zend Studio for Eclipse is built upon. If I remember correctly, Zend Studio just adds in some of the Zend debugging options that you can use with ZendCore/Zend Platform.

If all you want is code hinting/completion and syntax highlighting, Eclipse PDT will do all of that for you. Download it (and Java if you don't already have it, Eclipse is a Java-based program) and run it. No real tutorials needed.


I tend to use a good text editor rather than an IDE for most things and try as I might I can't find the reason Eclipse is so highly rated at all.

Have you considered using a decent programmers editor with built in ftp at all? lots of them either include ftp or make it criminally easy to integrate external tools.

It's not a solution for everyone but if you find Eclipse isn't for you then a modern programmers editor slots in the middle between a traditional setup of vi/emacs/whatever and a full blown IDE.


There are some really clever people on here who vote things down they don't agree with even though they are valid opinions, you know who you are :p


Which fool marks somebody down for offering a solution?

My dream IDE does highlighting and code completion for PHP, CSS and Javascript, any suggestions? ... For the mac?

Yes, try and use a decent programmers editor and see if you really need a full blown ide.

+5  A: 

Aptana can do all of that and is available on any platform (Mac/Linux/PC).

The only thing Zend has on Apatana is pre-integration of PHPUnit and PHPDocs, which are just plugins for Aptana that you have to do yourself. So really you are spending X amount of $ just to not have to install two plugins.

I could be completely wrong though... Check it out and let me know what else I'm missing by not paying $200 for Zend. I'm interested to know...

(took me long enough): Eclipse based IDEs did the trick, except for wordwrap which is, uhm, misteriously missing. Aptana stood over Zend6 (Eclipse based)like crazy for stability and easy of install.
Yeah, no wordwrap on eclipse yet (it's apparently quite difficult to do wordwrapping combined with the other stuff going on there). They had a summer project trying to get wordwrap working in 2006. There is an alpha here: http://ahtik.com/blog/2006/06/18/first-alpha-of-eclipse-word-wrap-released/
Zend Debugger Toolbar... not possible with Aptana/Eclipse!?
+1  A: 

I was involved in the Zend Neon Alpha/Beta testing so I got to watch it evolve from beginnings to where it is today. I'm honestly not convinced that the move to the Eclipse Platform was a good direction for the IDE to take. Even with the final release of Neon, I'm still using Zend Studio 5.5. I love Zend Studio 5.5 and I'm going to be deeply saddened when the time comes where Zend will stop supporting it in favor of the Eclipse version.

Your Zend Studio license should allow you to still get your hands on Zend Studio 5.5. There's absolutely nothing wrong with that version and the Eclipse version doesn't offer easy alternatives or advantages to its core functionality. The Eclipse model of programming just doesn't suit most PHP developers that I know so it's really hard to get into managing your work in the "Eclipse way" of doing things. You can't really make Eclipse bend to the old Zend Studio model of doing things, either.

If you have an active Zend Studio license, I highly recommend sticking with 5.5.

Jeremy Privett

If you use Zend Framework, Zend Studio has some cool new integration features for it (of course..). Also the "rename/move" refactoring tools in ZS actually work right, which I wasn't able to get working in Eclipse PDT. I personally like the direction that Zend is going with all their tools working together - though there is still a long way to go.

For what its worth NetBeans 6.9 has support for zend framework thru zend tools. Works great for me!
+1  A: 

I agree with 'Jeremy Privett' that Zend Studio 5.5 is really nice. It is simple to configure and works well. I like the fact that it is ONLY a PHP IDE. A slightly minimal IDE if that makes sense.

I find all the Eclipse based IDEs off-putting. The self-update system never seems to work quite right, although Aptana seems to be the best of the Eclipse based IDEs for PHP.

I have been having GREAT success with Netbeans for PHP 6.5 (RC2). It is only 24MB download. Really quick, simple, free, great SVN support etc.

A breath of fresh air compared to Eclipse based IDEs.

To answer your original question it does everything you need, and on a Mac.

William Macdonald
+3  A: 

I have to dis-agree with the crowd that pushes Aptana or Zend Studio. I want to love them both, both have great things going for them, but both are sadly unstable and you waste more time messing the IDE then doing any work at all. I find it hard to believe that Zend can charge the insane cost they do and release such a poorly working product. There documentation, FAQ, and forums are worthless for help as well. For now I will still e-texteditor, and notepad++, hell I might move back to Dreamweaver, at least it's remote file editing just works!

I agree, I've given up on PHP IDE's because none of them are stable enough.
Yeah I have given up on ZendStudio. I loved 5.5 butnow its just a mess of bugs ans slowness. Sad really I loved there products.

Moved from ZS7 to Aptana. Haven't looked back.

Also, in Aptana, I can develop in many languages. ZS? Just the one.


i also blamed the zend studio new version and love the 5.5 old one. But recently i tried Netbeans 6.8, its awesome: great svn integration, javascript and css helpers, xdebug integration....

and its free!

+3  A: 

I tried Zend Studio, Eclipse PDT + Aptana but then I tried NetBeans for PHP and as a PHP IDE I find it miles away better from Eclipse.

highlighting and code completion:

PHP yes

CSS yes

HTML yes

FREE yes

OS all

Dr Casper Black

I suggest you to use Netbeans for PHP. I used to use Aptana but I recently switched to Netbeans, faster than Aptana.