I’m a full time PHP developer, so after spending the first few years coding in some free text editor, Crimson Editor and then later PSPad, I moved to a full blown PHP IDE. Naturally the 2 choices for a PHP IDE are the Zend Studio and PhpED. There are other products, but none of them are up to the same level of quality as these applications. Zend Studio is written in Java and put out by the Zend Company which you would assume meant it was the superior product. I mean, Zend is basically the company behind PHP at this point. I installed both apps and after quite a bit of testing decided I would go with the faster application, PhpED. My initial testing was done with PhpED 4.6.2 under Windows Vista Business.

PhpED is a native Windows application that had most of the features of Zend Studio at the time and some that ZS lacked, like built in Terminal access. At the time, ZS had a few features that PhpED did not, like code folding. With the 5.0 release of PhpED, it now blows Zend Studio out of the water. The main new feature in this release is the addition of code folding. For those of you not in the know, code folding is exactly what it sounds like. It allows you to select blocks of code and literally fold them or hide them from view. When working in OOP environments this is a huge help. It lets you hide class methods and view a quick summary of what the class is made up of. You can even select portions of code inline and collapse them.

I installed PhpED 5.0 last week and its as fast as ever. I highly suggest anyone on the fence about which IDE to jump on seriously give PhpED a chance. I would also suggest paying the extra cost for the 3yr maintenance as it comes with free upgrades.

For more on PhpED, visit NuShpere’s website at http://www.nusphere.com