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Learning PHP, MySQL, and JavaScript by Robin Nixon

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Using an IDE

As good as dedicated program editors can be for your programming productivity, their utility pales into insignificance when compared to Integrated Development Environments (IDEs), which offer many additional features such as in-editor debugging and program testing, as well as function descriptions and much more.

Figure 2-18 shows the popular phpDesigner IDE with a PHP program loaded into the main frame, and the righthand Code Explorer listing the various classes, functions, and variables that it uses.

When using an IDE such as phpDesigner, PHP development becomes much quicker and easier
Figure 2-18. When using an IDE such as phpDesigner, PHP development becomes much quicker and easier

When developing with an IDE, you can set breakpoints and then run all (or portions) of your code, which will then stop at the breakpoints and provide you with information about the program’s current state.

As an aid to learning programming, the examples in this book can be entered into an IDE and run there and then, without the need to call up your web browser.

There are several IDEs available for different platforms, most of which are commercial, but there are some free ones, too. Table 2-1 lists some of the most popular PHP IDEs, along with their download URLs.

Table 2-1. A selection of PHP IDEs

IDE

Download URL

Price

Win

Mac

Linux

Eclipse PDT

http://eclipse.org/pdt/downloads/

Free

Komodo IDE

http://activestate.com/Products/komodo_ide

$295

NetBeans

http://www.netbeans.org

Free

phpDesigner ...

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