Feb 26 2010
I finally got my home development server completely updated, including a freshly compiled Gentoo hardened kernel! Now that I’ve got my server setup and working smoothly again, I started looking into the IDE side of the equation so I could do PHP web development on my laptop.
So after looking around a bit, I stumbled upon the idea of using Eclipse to do PHP development. In the past I have disliked Eclipse due to it’s tendency to have problems with it’s workspace “.metadata” files over time, along with it’s slowdowns and/or freezing. However, after seeing a presentation about Mylyn I reconsidered. After looking up some other plugins, I was convinced that Eclipse is definitely worthy of a second look. What’s Mylyn you ask? In a nutshell: Mylyn is a task oriented plugin to Eclipse, giving you the benefit of saving what files & tabs you have open in Eclipse for a specific task. A task can be anything, a bug report in Bugzilla that you’re working on, or simply a powerpoint presentation (An example given in the presentation with Tasktop Pro, the fully featured task oriented desktop app from Tasktop Technologies).
Why am I reconsidering Eclipse? Well for starters:
- It’s built on Java, so I won’t be tied to using Windows for my laptop forever (Eventually I’m looking into getting a Mac)
- Mylyn allows integration with Bugzilla, along with a solution to my constant “too many tasks with too many tabs” problem.
- It includes built-in task scheduling features, perfect to start training myself to do better time management.
- Allows for developers to share “contexts” for each task (or bug) with one another, allowing for easy views on what parts of the code a bug/feature affects. Collaboration is made that much easier!
- The PHP Development Tools (PDT) project gives PHP code completion, PHP debugging (once you install an apache server library), and all the other nice standard features of Eclipse. For the Apache module, you’ve got the choice of either the free & open source XDebug or the binary blob Zend Debugger.
- The Subclipse plugin allows for nice integration with SVN (although I prefer git, I am forced to use for a couple projects). I was also familiar with using this plugin in my college’s Software Development class, where we used Eclipse & SVN to do Agile Java programming with many different teams over the course.
I’m really excited to start debugging PHP code on the server. Previously I’d been using jEdit, an SSH terminal, and Firefox to develop. This upgrade should improve my productivity a lot.