One of the most important thing required by a programmer is to write error free code in a short time span. After learning a new language he will not be able to memorize all the functions , classes and keywords in a language. So while writing a program he will be required to refer the tutorials of the language, and this will make the process of wrting code a tedious task. So to reduce the burden on the programmer there are tools available which helps in writing error free code. An Integrated Development Environment (IDE) is such a tool that helps in writng error free code and increases the productivity of the programmer. An IDE usually will have a code editor, a Graphical User Interface (GUI) builder , a compiler and/or interpreter and a debugger. The GUI builder will auto generate code for the programmer while the compiler and/or interpreter helps in running the programme. The degugger helps in debugging the code in a step by step procedure. There are IDEs that supports many languages for development. So all these thing helps in increasing the productivity of the programmer. So in this post I will introduce you an IDE known as CodeLobster.
CodeLobster PHP Editor
CodeLobster is a Windows based IDE for web development using PHP,HTML,JS and CSS. It supports many interface languages like English, German, French, Italian, Spanish, Russian, Chinese, Japanese, Portuguese, Hungarian, Czech, Slovak and Turkish. CodeLobster comes in three versions Free Version, Lite Version and Professional Version.
Lite Version comes with some more additional features like FTP/SFTP support, SQL manager, Version Control Systems, Code validator,Node.js support, Split Window, Compare, SASS and LESS, Code snippets and Code formatting. The SQL manager will help you to connect to a MySQL database and process it within the IDE itself. The Version Control System will help you to integrate your project with Version Control Systems like Tortoise SVN, GIT and Mercurial. It is really helpful if you are working on project in a team environment. So the Lite version is for those who are into seroius PHP development that requires some advanced features.
Professional version is for those expert professional programmers who require more advanced features like framework support. The professional version has plugins for AngularJ, CakePHP, CodeIgniter, Drupal, jQuery, Joomla, Laravel, Phalcon, Smarty, Symfony+Twig, WordPress, and Yii. Writing code in a framework will be a tedious task without code autocompletion and creating the basic application for the framework. These plugins will make the programmer’s job easier.
I haven’t used any premium IDEs other than CodeLobster. I was using free open source tools like NetBeans for development. All of those IDEs requires you to enable xdebug to debug the code written in PHP, where as CodeLobster comes with an inbuilt PHP debugger which makes things requires. Enabling xdebug requires modifying the php.ini config file which may not be easy for newbie learner. So the builtin debugger is really a good feature. One other thing I noticed in the CodeLobster is we can find the definition of a variable or object by pressing the F12 key. This comes handy when the variable is defined in another file. The wide range of framework support , support for CMS like Drupal and WordPress and other languages like Ruby and Python makes it a choice for programming.
The user interface looks a bit outdated. As they are providing the professional version they could have really improved the look and feel of the IDE. Now a days most of the free open source IDEs can be extended using plugins for supporting frameworks.
If you are looking for a feature rich IDE within a low budget then you can try CodeLobster. It has all features required for web development using PHP. It also allows you to try all the features of professional version for a trial period of 30 days, so you can give it a try and see for yourself if it is a good fit. You can get the latest version of CodeLobster from here.