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Looking for reliable PHP IDE with PHP and JavaScript debugger

Posted on 2014-09-07
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Last Modified: 2014-09-23
This has been a frustrating experience for me. I have tried Aptana Studio 3, but it has issues where it doesn't seem to recognize any PHP code at all and just displays PHP code on the web page. So I dropped that.

I've already tried Netbeans 8.0, and I really liked it. The problem is console.log just wouldn't work in JavaScript anymore for some reason. When I google search, some other people encountered the same problem, but no solutions.

So I would greatly appreciate suggestions for a good PHP IDE that provides robust debuggers for PHP and JavaScript. Please do not answer unless you're using it yourself and is pretty pleased with it.

Thanks.
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Question by:elepil
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by:Murfur
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I use Komodo for a few reasons:
It is multi-platform - I have a Windows setup at the office and a Mac at home and thanks to DropBox managing the files, using the same IDE on both environments means that I can pick up where I left off without any complications.
It is customisable, as are most IDEs nowadays, but I like that it allows me to tailor the UI to my own colour preferences or to use the add-ons I want.
it is multi-language so can handle all the different flavours of includes that you can think of
Intelligent auto-complete, i.e. picks up your own variables etc. and not just the preset language keywords
And so the list goes on...

The full blown is a mere $89 and includes version control and a whole host of other options (see here for a comparison list) and you can download and trial it for a month but I find that the free open source version Komodo Edit is more than good enough for every day needs.

@MunterMan - FYI, Eclipse is the base for Aptana and several other IDEs
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by:Ray Paseur
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Eclipse and Komodo are what we've used in teaching environments.  Personally, I do not use any IDE at all.  I use a text editor, TextPad or sometimes BBEdit.  My test environment works like this:

Write code on local computer.  FTP code to internet-based server.  Run tests in Chrome with DevTools open.  

That's a bit of an oversimplification, since it leaves out details of Unit testing, Version control, etc., but it covers the essentials.  I have no disdain for IDE software, I just find myself using and reusing my own libraries.  Perhaps the best answers are the ones we are most familiar with?
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by:elepil
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Ray, if you're just using a text editor, how do you debug PHP then? And I'm guessing you debug JavaScript through Firebug or something similar?

The ability to step trace through PHP and JavaScript code is crucial to me.
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by:Ray Paseur
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I don't really debug PHP.  When you write code with an OOP design, there is very little debugging needed.  Debugging is mostly an artifact of procedural coding practices.  I just have a look at the data with var_dump() and if it's OK, the logical connections are probably OK, too, since they are defined by the interface.

For JavaScript (jQuery), I use Chrome Dev Tools.
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by:elepil
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Ray, what you say shocks me. Debugging is not an artifact of procedural coding practices; you're saying that if one codes using OOP principles, no debugging will ever be necessary. Debugging is not always wholly about data, oftentimes it's about verifying the accuracy of your logic. When you write an application that works 99% of the time and crashes 1% of the time, it's debugging time, and dumping data is not enough.

With all due respect, but you can't possibly be a software developer, or you would never say that.
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by:Ray Paseur
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What I wrote:
When you write code with an OOP design, there is very little debugging needed.
What you read:
...you're saying that if one codes using OOP principles, no debugging will ever be necessary.
In object-oriented design there is far less logic needed and the software components are deliberately made to be reusable.  Automated unit tests replace the debugging process.  It's not that I don't debug - it's just that I don't debug "by hand" any more.  It's a fraction of my development time now.  It used to be a much larger fraction!
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by:elepil
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Murfur, how do you find the debugging features of Komodo IDE? You didn't say anything about that, and if you look in my original post, debugging is a big thing to me. Thanks.
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by:Murfur
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I don't need to debug as I write the code correctly the first time... 😄

The reality is there isn't so much these days because, like Ray, I'm OOPing but what does come up is usually spotted in a firebug console and dealt with accordingly. That said, I do have one little niggle that I will address with Komodo tomorrow so that I can offer a better answer but in the meantime here's a little light reading:
http://docs.activestate.com/komodo/4.4/debugger.html
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