Review of Aptana Studio for PHP Development
Many web developers have trouble finding the right tools for the job. Limited budgets can knock expensive tools like Adobe Dreamweaver out of the boat. Free alternatives exist but with limited functionality and features. Where is a developer to turn?
If you’re looking for a flexible, powerful IDE for PHP development without spending any money, Aptana Studio is a good place to start. It’s got a boat load of tools to get any project off the ground. Although it is primarily focused on development of AJAX applications, its plugins allow its users to expand its cababilites.
AJAX is quite an adept application that is quite essential for PHP development and is quite popular among web experts, who view it as an interesting asset that has changed web designing completely and because the costo sito web is quite adequate, it is all the more welcome step as it can include various substitutes.
Aptana Studio is based off of Eclipse, a well known open-source IDE popular among Java developers. Eclipse also supports C/C++ and PHP with the proper packages. Some of the basic features Aptana inherited from Eclipse include syntax highlighting, code assist, custom code formatting, and automatic updates. Furthermore, since Apatana is basically a laser-targeted version of Eclipse, almost any Eclipse plugin will also work with Aptana.
So why not simply use Eclipse? Although PHP is supported in Eclipse through add-ons, Aptana is spearheading the focus on web development while Eclipse focuses on Java and C/C++. However, if you already have Eclipse installed, you can essentially turn it into Aptana through their Eclipse plugin.
If you prefer more control over your preview server, you can install your own and configure Aptana to work with it. On my development machine, for example, I installed xampp to act as my test server. Aptana also makes it easy to connect to external servers to upload and download code. If you’re into version control like SVN, you can enable it with other plugins.
Although its a good start, there are a few weaknesses. Aptana is not a WYSIWYG editor like FrontPage or Dreamweaver. Also, if you’re planning on doing heavy testing of multi-page PHP applications, you might have to resort to your traditional browser. The built-in one is not as nimble as your standalone. Also, the native SQL server configuration is difficult to understand and configuration could be a pain.
I’ve found that I get the best results after installing my own web server configuring Aptana to work with it. The built-in browser preview works just as well after slight modification and is great when I just need to look at changes to stylesheets and html. To preview PHP functionality, I tend to resort to my standalone browsers (Firefox and IE).
Despite some of Aptana’s weaknesses, it’s a satisfactory IDE for most developers who are looking for something better than notepad to write their websites. Its Eclipse foundation makes it stable with the wonderful benefits that come with open-source software. With Apatana, you’ll be well on your way to developing highly interactive websites with Ajax and PHP, and your wallet will thank you.