editor - Best PHP *smart* IDE - Stack Overflow

# Best PHP *smart* IDE

A similar question has been asked several times - sometimes in old threads.
I didn't find the right tool yet, trying some of the proposed IDEs. Maybe there is something new that has been released recently that you know and fits the following requirements:

Basically, same features as Eclipse for Java

• Syntax colors
• Able to tell where the function is called
• Names and arguments completion
• Refactoring
• Find and read automatically the includes to get definitions
• HTML and Javascript edition would be a +
• (Run / test some functions via the PHP interpreter)
• Fast

(PHP Eclipse is slow and doesn't have all of the Java features)

I don't mind Paypaling a few coins to get something decent.

Edit feedback

1. Was / am using Emacs 23.1 with php-mode
• Emacs basic features (.emacs, kbd-macros, fast and easy navigation, shortcuts, buffers, the many available functions, custom lisp, etc... etc...)
• Main misses are the smart refactoring and functions callers (AFAIK)
2. Tried NetBeans (couple of weeks ago) and found it pretty heavy - with seemingly less features than its Eclipse counterpart
3. Tried Eclipse PHP: heavy, and didn't find some of the requested features - maybe my mistake but was expecting the same shortcuts as for Java. All in all, looks like it is a pale adaptation of the Java interface and quickly gave up
4. Tried Aptana 3 on my Ubuntu 10.04 (in Aug), Eclipse look and heaviness - got a crash pretty quickly (don't remember exactly why - I know it's a beta but the IDE has to be reliable). Compared it with JetBrains just now and prefer JB.
5. Trying JetBrains right now: so far good impression
• importing current projects, good
• setting the php extensions, good
• changing default font, good
• refactoring, funcs callers, good
• completion is so nice (for completes to for, foreach and my other funcs / $vars starting with for) • indentation is subtle (a fine gray vertical line) • relatively fast response (while Java based) • All in all, it is currently my favorite - light interface, like the speed, the look. Used to Emacs and C++, I feel "at home" with this editor. 6. edit July 2011 Tried Zend Studio a lot. It is really professional, and PHP dedicated. All the features I use in the Java environment are present in ZS (hovering the mouse over words, go to function declaration, refactor(may be dangerous...), etc...). • Zend Studio, despite the price, is my favorite IDE currently. • However even the latest update has lots of annoying bugs (formatting, auto-quoting...). Amazing how these things - kind of thing that requires some algorithm design (typical textbook case) - are working perfectly in Java, while they do not in PHP... Not the same programmers seemingly :-( - Currently I use Emacs PHP-mode. – ring0 Nov 20 '10 at 15:12 I've found gedit perfect for my needs till now, but I guess an IDE is a must to scale up. – Programming Enthusiast Nov 20 '10 at 15:14 please clarify which IDEs you have tried already and possibly point out how they didnt solve your requirements. Otherwise people will only repeat the obvious choices. I find it rather questionable that the IDEs given in stackoverflow.com/questions/6166/… and stackoverflow.com/questions/116292/what-is-the-best-ide-for-php do not fit your bill – Gordon Nov 20 '10 at 16:01 See my edit. The other questions you mentioned do not specify clearly what features they want, and at least not the ones I want. Moreover I never understood the NetBeans craze which was the favorite choice, and definitely not mine. – ring0 Nov 20 '10 at 16:13 @ring0 It doesnt matter they dont specify your requested features. The linked two questions are the most comprehensive lists of IDEs on SO with plenty of links to outside resources. The features you ask for are standard features in the major IDEs and thus people will name the standard IDEs if you dont rule out those you tried. This is not helpful to you, nor for anyone else. And that's why I asked you to point out which you have already tried. Because if you dont the question will end up with the same old answers again, making it a duplicate of those two linked, despite the requirements. – Gordon Nov 20 '10 at 16:25 show 1 more comment ## deleted by Jeff Atwood♦Sep 15 '11 at 22:09 ## 5 Answers JetBrains' PhpStorm does everything you want. It's free for open source projects and classrooms, but costs$100 otherwise (I bought it when it was \$49, when it first came out).

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This looks promising. I've tried quite a few different ones, but i keep going back to the more powerful notepad type of programs. – Matt Nov 20 '10 at 15:54

I use NetBeans. It knows php, html, css, js, jquery, smarty, and svn (i.e. just the right stuff for me). The only problem is that once in a while it hangs for a couple of seconds, but it is not too often (I'm using the last beta).

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+1 for Netbeans. Does everything in the list. – Nathan MacInnes Nov 20 '10 at 15:15
Are you sure it allows the 1. refactoring 2. function callers, and 3. fast? :-) – ring0 Nov 20 '10 at 15:18
1) I've never used it, but they say it does. 2) Yeah, I use that all the time, it's great. 3) Fast is such a subjective word... best to try it on your computer. It has been fast enough for me (for more than a few months now) – cambraca Nov 20 '10 at 15:22
Netbeans' performance has been immensely increased in the last couple versions. Everyone who thinks Netbeans is slow should give it another try. – Tim Nov 20 '10 at 16:51
Thanks will give it another try. Not using PHP currently, but will do, promised ;-) – ring0 Nov 25 '10 at 14:27
show 1 more comment

I've been using Aptana's 3.0 beta version. Aptana is open source and free. They recently decided to give up using the PDT/Eclipse project as their PHP plugin and have returned to updating their own plugin, which earned a bunch of praise and was a heck of a lot more functional in my option.

Having used Netbeans, Eclipse + PDT and Zend Studio up to v7 myself, I also think it has the best HTML/CSS/JS support in terms of syntax highlighting, code completing, and automatic formatting.

The only stumbling block here is "fast" - as most people view Eclipse as really slow and a memory hog. That's mostly justified, but on a multi-core system with 4+ GB of RAM I think the performance of just about any of the solutions mentioned here is going to converge.

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Netbeans

with vast amount of good features inbuilt svn for which choose this software.

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Did you try Zend Studio, to compare? – ring0 Aug 25 '11 at 20:11

After some testing of other IDE's, I stick to Zend Studio. It has good debugging capabilities, code completion, refactoring etc. Using 5.5 now, but will migrate to the new version 8 that has recently been released.

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you are aware that 5.5 is a completely different product? 5.5 was standalone. 8 is Eclipse based. – Gordon Nov 20 '10 at 16:03
Thanks for the warning. – ring0 Nov 20 '10 at 16:24
@ring0 my comment wasn't intended so much as a warning but rather as setting the expectations right. I am using Zend Studio ever since it is Eclipse-based and while it sure has some bugs, it is a good IDE. – Gordon Nov 20 '10 at 16:28
For me it is a warning! And you should have made an answer about Zend Studio... ;-) – ring0 Nov 20 '10 at 16:43
Chosen as best answer, since after testing ZS, I currently stick to it. – ring0 Jul 28 '11 at 6:33