Using a PHP IDE: The start of a journey

So this week i’ve started the epic journey of setting up an environment to make full use of an integrated development environment for PHP.

Now using version control, develop locally, debugging, auto code-completion etc. is something i’ve heard a lot of people talk about lately.
Not because it’s a hot-topic, but because it’s mandatory for every (PHP) developer that wants to make full use of his or hers creative mind. Yes that’s right, what i considered first to be “Overhead” like version control seems to be mandatory for making your life as a developer easier.

As my day to day job requires me to work with several developers directly on a FTP server, i was never able to use a PHP IDE to it’s full extent. Things like debugging, auto code completion, version merging do not seem to be possible with *any* PHP IDE when you work directly onto a FTP server. So this has to change. And besides, this leads to a lot of problems which i probably don’t even have to explain.

Now that i am becoming more interested in Open Source development i have to do some research on how to set this all up.
Which is exactly what i am going to do this weekend.

There are a couple of problems i ran into before even starting to set things up. I still have to think of a solution to these:

  • Database version control
  • Automatic deployment
  • Merging feature branches to the testing/staging/live branches

Probably how to handle database version control concerns me the most, have to read up on that a bit more.

PS: Any idea’s, tips or tricks are welcome, as i am fairly new to all of this!

  • In my opinion, IDE’s are slow, big and bloated. I want to be able to start an editor the moment my brain starts to spawn code (I sometimes have those moments). I never have been able to pull this off with any IDE. So I use vim.

    So, a general tip, don’t just use an IDE because everyone uses an IDE, but explore other options too. A lot of people don’t even consider vim as an option, though in my eyes its a very usefull and mostly fast editor.

    • rtuin

      Although i don’t know all of the capabilities of vim, the reason i want to use an IDE is what the I stands for in IDE: Integration.
      It’s easy and productive to have all the tools you use in one app.

      But thank you for the suggestion of vim, i’ll take a look at it!