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Some playing time with Eclipse

Like I said yesterday I downloaded the IDE and played with it a bit. Note that its quite a hefty download if you go with the "all-in-one" package (so pick your mirror wisely!). But I kinda like software that you just unzip and go.

The highlighting is nicely done. The interface looks nice, although there are way too many buttons that I do not know what they do (and I assume a lot of them will never be relevant for a PHP developer).

The same goes for the settings. I looked them through a couple times but did not find such basics things as being able to show all characters including whitespace (I have become so used to this that I just cannot read code without seeing the whitespace) or changing tabs to become 4 spaces (you can set the tab width though). The #eclipse channel also seems to suffer from a huge imbalance of questions to answers.

I should probably get into this project thing some day, but so far I skirted this feature in all IDE's I used. Most IDE's seem to accept this, but Eclipse does not even have a button to open a file in the main menu toolbar by default. I created a project just for kicks. I am not really sure what this buys me just now. I was able to set an include path order. I can see this being convenient. But I was now expecting to get some navigation across the include path directories. I guess I need to open files separately and then add them to the project.

Speaking of opening files. Opening the 3000+ LOC in MDB2.php took a bit and scrolling was laggy a bit. I was expecting Eclipse to outperform Zend Studio (after all a lot more man hours went into Eclipse) but this was obviously not the case. Zend Studio 5 does come fairly close to the performance of my primary editor Weaverslave.

I mentioned I use Zend Studio for a few things. One of which is the automatic syntax checking. Another thing is the code analyser. The thing gives a lot of false positives and questionable positives (for example I never initialize parameters to functions that are set by the given function, like the array of matches in preg_match()). It also complains about unchanged references even though they get passed on to other functions. Finally I do use Zend Studio to browse my Oracle database. I prefer phpMyAdmin, the command line or MySQL Query Browser for MySQL and pgAdmin for PostGreSQL though. You gotta be hardcore Oracle to like sqlplus ;)

So again I see potential, so I just hope that the people involved make sure they do not forget about the open source development process along the way.

Comments



Re: Some playing time with Eclipse

You can open a file regularily by the File menu.
File->Open File

I have also found that it is fairly slow, but I still think it is faster than Zend Studio. Atleast here on my work computer. Zend Studio has many smaller and trivial bugs that they just do not fix.

It seems much better to be on an open platform that is always being evolved and updated. Once the phpide code is in the open source relam it will probably start getting updated more frequently than the Zend Studio IDE and quite possibly more features than Zend Studio...

Re: Some playing time with Eclipse

Just create a new project and choose the folder where you put your source code as project folder - thats it!

Did you instelled PHPEclipse, WTP, AnyEditTools? You should do.

In menu 'Window' -> 'Preferences...' search 'php'
under 'PHP' there is right a tab called 'typing' there you can check 'insert tab as spaces'

Re: Some playing time with Eclipse

For Oracle I used phpOracleAdmin or something like that. Good for browsing. The project is orphaned since years but I got what I wanted from this tool. Or use MySQL's Migration Toolkit and migrate your data to MySQL ;)

Re: Some playing time with Eclipse

@Mike: yeah I know I can open it through the File dialog, but there was no button on the menu toolbar.

@Sebastian: I was using the preview release of the Zend sponsored PHP Eclipse proposal.

@Andrey: I never choose Oracle myself, but Oracle projects usually pay much better than MySQL ;)

Re: Some playing time with Eclipse

I installed the windows and linux version and I noticed that the windows version is noticeably slower. It may be a setup problem but that is what I noticed.

Some of the nice features are ctrl+click to go where a function or class is defined and the team synchronizing (with the subclipse plugin for subversion) to visually merge conflicts.

Re: Some playing time with Eclipse

were you able to get debugging working yet? I've been having a bitch of a time getting it set up so far

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