Good PHP Framework / IDE - Development under Windows


I need to know a good PHP Framework and the Pros and Cons to it froms somebody who has real hands on experience.

Here is a little background:

In the beginning I had a tiny homepage and it was pure HTML edited with old Allaire Homesite. Little later I went to PHP because my hosting provider had this as an option. I edited PHP and hoped it worked. That was only to have a form processed I provided on the page. Later I installed Java Eclipse and PHP Eclipse which works good enough for me. Now I need to restructure my whole page, make it multi language and be able to easily change it.

For a little while I thought of going on ASP.NET as it is very comfortable and I am pretty familiar with C#,VB. But somehow finally I want to stick to PHP also because I read some convincing arguments on security issues ASP.NET has.

I am looking for something

- Kind of "Drag & Drop" like in ASP.NET to design the page
- The generated PHP / HTML Code still under my control (I know what it does)
- Should be cheap however I do not want to have any licensing issue because I use it for a commercial page


Who is Participating?
I'm practiced to work in Windows for development and upload my files (thru' CVS) in Linux for hosting. (Obviously the reason is Linux is secure, faster and reliable than Windows)

Smarty is the best choice! I never go for another opinion here. :=)

For shop system applications, others have already done it (dont need to re-invent the wheel) :=) I've developed some shop sites using OSCommerce and they're pretty good. Utilizing sources (like OSCommerce, RomanCart) are of great advantage for faster learning and better programming.
Have a look at this.
HolliSttAuthor Commented:
Sorry, What I am actually looking for is somebody who can tell me from his own experience the pros and cons about a good PHP IDE / Framework / MVC Template Utility however you call it. So if you have experience with the above mentionend PHP editor then please elaborate a bit further on it.
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Ok. As a developer I would like/consider the the following as pros & cons of this particular editor.

1) Three modes of Code Highlighting (PHP & HTML; HTML only; PHP only). Java Script and CSS files highlighting.  (But this    one is not great in coloring but ok)
2) The Code Explorer  ** To explore the parts of my program like calss , function variables.
3)Bookmarks  **
4)The Library Explorer,Customizable Code Templates
   -a handy one to save time, can store and fetch codes from the library
5) PHP Debugger - but I never felt comfortable with this feature in this editor,
6) Full control of the script's input data - can pass GET and POST values to the inbuilt browser
7) Quick inserting the PHP functions with parameters hint.  **
8) Brackets highlighting  **
9)Internal Browser      
10)FTP Client      

Initially I used to work with notepad, then moved onto some light weight editors. But like working on editors with these sort of features.

I can not find anything in this editor as demerits, but  some of the features are not done upto the mark,

Basicaly some one looking for IDE, will be expecting features like...
1)coloring of html,php,asp,javascript (should be done to the best level.)
2)Intelisense, (supporting variables also)
3)Some sort of grouping block of code.
like  for this particular option you can see notepad++ (special option this is) 
4)After all this should not consume alot of resource.

These are my ideas and epectations. :) Hope this helps you.

As far as IDE's are concerned Zend is the ultimate. My suggestion is explore the advantages of Zend tools such as Zend Optimizer, Encoder, Debugger, etc. (Trial version is available) I'm using Zend in my home and Eclipse in my office for PHP applications. Some comparisons:

* Eclipse is free for personal use(and cheap for commercial purpose), but Zend is not.
* One notable advantage in Eclipse is its CVS Repository with Synchronisation.
* Eclipse uses many resources and obviously slower(infact, very very slow) when compared to Zend.

Rest of the features are almost identical. For frameworks, Smarty( ) or phpSiteManager ( is the best choice.
HolliSttAuthor Commented:
Aha. Seems I get slowly the picture.

Smarty and Roadsend seem to be both pure Linux tools. Right or wrong? I do not want to start a discussion here on whether Linux or Windows is the better platform but I would be willing to go to Linux if somebody says to me: "If you are seriously want to develop PHP forget about Windows".

So "ldbkutty" your input was very good and from the fact that you are definitely a Pro in PHP can you give me an opinion on what somebody should keep in mind if he steps up from "private homepage" level to a "commercial internet site" level with maybe some shop functions and private login area and stuff like this. Have you worked with Smarty or Roadsend or do you prefer your "homemade" framework where you know what you did?
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