I’ve been doing a lot of work recently in the Aptana IDE (see screenshot on the left), taking the time out to give it a whirl because I needed a new IDE, I needed something that was platform-independent, and I needed something free. I’ve always liked their feature set, but since as a PHP IDE it was pretty poor (no code assist and all those sorts of nifty things) I wasn’t too convinced. But they’d started working on PHP code assist since last month, and I figured that was good enough lead time to get used to the IDE.
But PHP code assist for Aptana is finally here, as part of the official current milestone release. I must say I’m pretty pleased with it so far. I’ll admit I’ve never used a full-blown IDE specifically for PHP before, but for my purposes I don’t see anything shabby with this. Some things that I’m loving about Aptana are:
- Syntax highlighting for HTML, CSS, JS, and PHP
- Code assist for all four
- I can see if a certain PHP function isn’t available in PHP4
- Tabs automatically converted to spaces
- Auto-indent can use spaces too
- Text wrapping suggestion (I just need a suggestion, thankyouverymuch)
Here’s an example of how PHP code assist looks like in Aptana.
Yes, I haven’t tried out the AJAXy goodness that’s in Aptana yet, but I will get there in time as I continue to go deeper and get more and more comfortable with using JS and YUI. I admit that the fact that it’s rather slowwww is a bit of a downer, plus I’m missing the functionality to find a certain string in the whole project or folder (if the functionality’s there, anyone care to point it out to me?), but these aren’t very huge problems.