PHPBuilder - Eclipse for the PHP Developer Page 4

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Eclipse for the PHP Developer - Page 4

by: Shu-Wai Chow
September 21, 2004

Features for the PHP Developer
Eclipse Editor
The Editor alone is worth the price of admission. In addition to being well versed in syntax highlighting, The Editor also knows all the PHP functions and HTML tags. Within <?php and ?> tags, try typing "mysql" and then hit Control and Space. All functions beginning with "mysql" will appear. Select the one you want and hit Enter. You can see all HTML tags when you are outside of the php directive tags. Type "<" and hit Control and Space. This is the Eclipse template system at work. A template is also available in the Java Development Perspective for the standard Java Class Libraries.
As with any good IDE, PHPEclipse has a debugger to set breakpoints, step through code, and monitor variable values along the way. In the Editor, double click on the column just to the left of the line number to set a breakpoint. To debug, click on the file and select Run -> Debug As -> PHP Application. This will activate the Debug Perspective. From the Debug View, you can step through code. The Variables View shows all application and environment variables, and their values.
The installation of the debugger is not for those with weak stomachs. Moreover, as of this writing, there are a few reported bugs in the debugger of the latest version of PHPEclipse. For Windows users, if you follow PHPEclipse's wampp-based instructions, it should work. For other platforms, you should use the dbg section from those instructions as general guidelines. You will need to install and configure the dbg debugger PHP extension available at PHPEclipse acts as a client to this extension.

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