I picked up a couple of PHP and Eclipse news snippets from Zend’s Andi Gutman. He reports on his blog that PHP Development Tools (PDT) 2.0 has been released – this is a free, open source PHP IDE for Eclipse. He also notes that PDT is now part of Galileo, a release of Eclipse together with numerous language-specific projects set for June 2009.
These yearly Eclipse releases form the mainstream Eclipse releases – you can think of them as equivalent to new versions of Microsoft’s Visual Studio. The big problem with Eclipse is one of dependencies; projects depend on other projects and maintaining a single Eclipse environment with the latest of everything you are interested it is challenging to say the least. Galileo guarantees compatibility for the projects which it includes. This announcement will bring many more users to PDT.
I’m pleased about this as it seemed at one time that it would not happen, and I was among those asking for it.
So what should you download if you want to use PDT 2.0 now? The decision is complicated by the debugger choices: Zend or XDebug. You can either:
- Attempt to integrate PDT 2.0 into your existing Ganymede Eclipse. I did this with earlier builds, but it may not be straightforward. Or
- Download the all-in-one for Windows, Linux or Mac. An easy solution, but you still have to get the debugger from elsewhere. Or
- Download the all-in-one from Zend, with Zend debugger included.
The third option may be the easiest, presuming you are happy with Zend rather than Xdebug.
I was amused by the language on the Zend "Open Source PHP Development Tools” page:
Looking to experiment with PHP or build simple PHP applications? PHP Development Tools (PDT), as its name suggests, is an open source development tool that provides you with all the basic code editing capabilities you need to get started.
I’d suggest that you can build a lot more than simple PHP applications with PDT alone. Take a look at Zend’s own comparison if you are wondering what the differences are. Still, it is worth supporting Zend by buying the commercial product if you can; after all, Zend is a big contributor to the PDT.