[nycphp-talk] Java provides???

Eddie Drapkin oorza2k5 at
Wed Aug 12 19:00:02 EDT 2009

On Wed, Aug 12, 2009 at 4:55 PM, Paul A Houle<paul at> wrote:
> Elijah Insua wrote:
>> I'm pretty sure you are talking about using eclipse as a text editor?
>> There are a couple plugins that make eclipse intelligent about your php
>> project.
>> PHPEclipse does do code hinting, I believe PDT does as well.  Not to
>> mention netbeans with its PHP Plugin, or how about Zend Studio / Komodo /
>> VS.PHP.  They all have code hinting/"intellisense"
>   Code hinting doesn't count for that much.  I type fast,  I know the
> built-in PHP methods like the back of my hand,  and these things can't
> understand the classes and functions that I write well enough to be useful
> for artifacts that aren't part of the language.
>   To be fair I make matters worse by depending on heavily on autoloading as
> well as computed file, method,  function and class names.  A useful PHP IDE
> for me would need to not only understand plain PHP,  but also be
> programmable w/ rules to describe the naming conventions used in my
> framework.
>   There's a world of difference between the gimmicks in the PHP editors I've
> seen and what Eclipse/Java does,
>> there are two debugging "systems" you can use with php.  XDebug and DBG,
>> PHPEclipse and Netbeans/PHP both have support for this.
>   I know.  I've never gotten either of those to work effectively.  There's
> always been some problem,  like the plug-in wouldn't build on the target
> machine or it would built but cause Apache to crash,  or there was a
> firewall in the way.  If I was getting paid to screw around with debuggers
> and write patches and all that I might be able to make it work,  but I've
> found that Java debugging and C# debugging just work...
> _______________________________________________
> New York PHP User Group Community Talk Mailing List

As far as code completion and hinting, if you write PHPDoc tags, the
assistance available in Zend Studio rivals that of Eclipse/Java.
Without the tags, it's not as useful (no parameter type-hints or
return type hinting) as it is with them, but it can still "learn" your
project layout and use classes / methods that you've already defined.
 As far as dynamic class names and function names, I don't recall
Eclipse/Java supporting that, so it's not really fair to take that
away from PHP IDE's.

With regards to debugging, I don't know how you've attempted to setup
remote debugging - which has to be what you're talking about with
regards to crApache, but something along the lines of "pecl install
xdebug", add the lines to php.ini and forward some ports in my router
has always worked for me.  And even if you have reasons to not have
remote debugging support all the time, the built in debugging of both
Zend Studio and PDT works fine.

When I started writing PHP, I initially tried out PDT, which was
relatively weak at that point and went with working in a
syntax-highlighting only editor for a while.  When I found that Zend
Studio had switched to being based on Eclipse and I tried it, to find
that it's the closest to Eclipse/Java of any IDE I've tried.  It's not
as useful as E/J is, but that's also not entirely the fault of the
IDE, but also the language.  Things like return types, what exceptions
are thrown, parameter types, etc. are easily available and parsed from
Java, not so much from PHP, because those declarations have to be made
in PHPDoc blocks.

I think, overall, Java is a language that's a lot more conducive to
having a full featured and helpful IDE than PHP is, well, even more so
than most languages.  PHP hasn't been a serious language for very long
(I don't consider PHP <5 to be a serious language), so I'd give it
some time before I started comparing apples and oranges.

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