I’ve just been to a very interesting BOF by Ludovic Champenois at JavaOne about the new PHP support in NetBeans. The talk was in the context of the new OpenSolaris WebStack so some time was spent on this, including the unique DTrace functionality which looks neat, but I found the NetBeans demo the most interesting.
- code completion
- PHP documentation
- variable renaming
- source navigation
- goto type
- extensible templates and auto-comments
- integrated debugging with XDebug
Sure, you don’t get all the neat refactoring you can have with a statically typed language like Java but even just the variable/method/class renaming is a big help. The code completion is good and the navigation even works over the filesystem in ‘require’ statements. Debugging works just like normal NetBeans debugging including all the usual stuff like call stack, mouse-over variable values, step-in/out, etc. A JMaki plugin brings all that goodness as well.
It’s still fairly early days but it looks pretty neat and maybe PHP finally has a good open source IDE.