I’ve had a hate-and-love relationship with a few editors over the past few years, but I’ve never found one that I truly love. Some look promising in the beginning but after some time I really get tired of their limitations.
I thought I had settled with Eclipse (with PDT) because it’s the best I’ve used, but the software update messes up so often it’s not funny anymore. That and those pesky “builders” that keep flagging stuff as errors in places where they’re absolutely useless. So with Eclipse rapidly losing credit I started a new search… without any results so far.
Perhaps my requirements are too steep, but Visual Studio  manages to combine them so I don’t think they’re too far-fetched. What I want in a PHP editor (or rather IDE):
- Projects instead of loose files (think of: Visual Studio solutions or Eclipse projects).
- Smart intellisense (not just autocomplete, it should be able to parse the project and recognize custom classes – Visual Studio is the reference here).
- Handle whitespace properly (tabs to spaces, clear trailing whitespace per line, clear empty lines).
- Formatting (with bonus points if I can configure my own set of rules).
- A non-cluttered modern interface.
Extra bonus points are awarded to IDEs that can perform small “design-time” checks (e.g. unreachable code, non-returning branch, unused variables, …) and have a couple of refactoring functions/shortcuts (to name two: rename variable/method and implement interface).
So if there’s anyone who knows about a little gem for PHP development, please let me know. Oh, and don’t make me beg 😉
: No, there’s nothing wrong with your eyes. Visual Studio is actually a Microsoft product that I like. It’s simply the best IDE in my very humble opinion.