I love Emacs. I consider this a problem, because while it’s an exceptionally powerful and productive environment for a programmer, I feel like it’s a tool that has a good chance of being left in the dust of quickly developing modern IDE’s.
I use Emacs for basically every kind of programming and writing, both in Windows and Linux, but I’ve resisted using it in programming for the web. I’ve been using Dreamweaver: the Visual Basic of PHP IDE’s in Windows, and I mean that in a bad way. I don’t use almost any of the visual features of Dreamweaver, because in my opinion, those features are intended for designers that are for the most part new to web design. They are not nearly as powerful as they at first may seem.
Anyway, after playing around with other IDE’s, I finally made the switch to Rapid PHP. There are a lot of alternatives here depending on what features you need, and most are quite surprisingly top-notch and nearly identical. For me, the ability to customize syntax highlighting and intuitive interaction with the server through FTP are important. I played around with the following alternatives, and settled with Rapid PHP because its coding environment just felt most natural for me:
- Eclipse PHP
- Netbeans PHP
- NuSphere PhpED
- Zend Studio – probably the most popular but I don’t like it ;-(
- Rapid PHP