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 What I expect from a PHP Editor 
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Junior Member

Joined: Thu Mar 23, 2006 12:16 pm
Posts: 2
Hello, I'm a new guy here, just been lurking mostly for a while.

Alot of people post alot of threads on here about which PHP editor is the best and why to use this one or that one and which one has the better/cooler features compared to other ones. I guess I could add my list, although people have already made a good case for things that any worthwhile PHP editor should have, like:

Code Complete
FTP Integration
CVS/Tortoise Integration
Project Management
In-editor PHP reference

These are super important things to me, although in almost every editor I've tried, free and commercial, the two bolded items above are absolutely abysmal. In DreamWeaver, I can go in and setup a site that is all self contained in a folder and I only have to see that file tree. I like that, but Dreamweaver is abominably expensive.

I have been using PHP Designer 2006, and it is almost great. Here's what I think EVERY self-respecting PHP editor ought to have in order to be great:

Collapsible sidebars - I don't know about you, but I LOVE having as much room as possible in my editing window WHILE I am editing. However, the majority of free/cheap editors out there have nothing like collapsing sidebars. PHP Designer has the ability to remove the Tool Panel from the main editing screen, however it hovers over the top of it, meaning you have no more screen real estate than you did before. Other editors have done collapsible menus (WOTgreal, for example) with nothing more than nag screens that are little more than a tiny nuisance, and even other editors support menu collapsing, but do everything else so badly that you don't want to use them anyways.

Quick-Connect FTP - Using Dreamweaver as an example again, when you set up a site, every file is "linked" to a file on the FTP server. Other editors do this, but their FTP support is awful or doesn't work in too many cases or, again, the editor stinks so bad in other areas you don't use it anyways. One-click uploading would be preferable to what is available now in most editors.

Split-View Editing - I think most programmers would agree that a simple split-view editor would be so incredibly nice. I have never seen an editor implement this nicely. Something like a context menu on the open files that says "View in Split Mode" would make it really easy to get there, and alot of programming is viewing two files that do something similar and adapting what you are doing around it.

Anyways, IMO Collapsing Sidebars is the MOST IMPORTANT feature that an editor can have. It is soooooo old hat by now, that I can't believe anyone wouldn't be able to put it in.

Thu Mar 23, 2006 12:40 pm
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Junior Member

Joined: Thu Mar 23, 2006 12:16 pm
Posts: 2
It's okay, I guess. I have a few suggestions:

1) I wish you would offer an "unlimited" freeware, nags-only version (pops up a nag screen everytime it starts asking you to order the "better" version). Don't allow debugging or interfacing with the PHP server itself on this version.

2) Your sidebars don't minimize, they just close. This makes it difficult to "pop" them back up if you nee dquick access to open a file. If they minimized, it would be much cleaner interface, IMO.

3) I don't like your Project Manager at all. I don't think that loading all of the files into a "Parent Tree" is a good way to go at all, especially for PHP developers whose sites are often across several different directory structures for several different applications. Have the Project Manager use Windows Explorer, so you can easily commit and update from TortoiseCVS from within the application, and keep the folder structure the same as it is in Explorer.

Those are my biggest comments so far.

Mon Mar 27, 2006 1:42 pm
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