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Zend Studio 3.0 - Page 2

by: Piers Karsenbarg
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November 4, 2003

Zend Information Centre

If (unlike me) you are the type of person who treats manuals with contempt and dives straight into games or software without so much as an acknowledgement of documentation, then just for once try to break out of this habit and get to know the Information Centre that comes with Studio. It contains information about all sections of the Studio, with an overview, details of useful techniques for use within the IDE as well as the Server Centre (which I'll come onto in a bit). Ok, so it's a glorified .chm (or man if you're more used to *nix systems), but an incredibly useful one at that.

Zend Server Centre

Ever wondered what all those settings in your php.ini file meant? Well take a look at the Zend Server Center and you'll see exactly what they are. Not only does this package explain what each little line does, it also allows you to configure your PHP settings online, which means no more messing around with notepad (or your local equivalent).

Zend Development Environment (ZDE)

The first thing that I thought of when I opened ZDE for the first time is that it's a lot like Visual C++ from a little-known software company from Seattle. If you've ever used C++, then you'll be prefectly at home with the layout and probably the package in general. It's not as daunting as it looks.

File Management

One of the most useful tasks that any development software can perform (although for some reason, some don't) is the organisation of files into projects, and ZDE does it very nicely indeed. It's very easy to create projects and even easier to add files to them. One of the best features that I discovered was that you can add directories on FTP servers to projects and open and save the files as if they were on a local drive. Incredibly useful when you aren't on the same network and can't use Samba or Windows networking to map a drive from your server.
When adding files to the project, whether from a local drive or an FTP server, ZDE searches the added files for required tags in the lines of code. If one is found, a box is displayed with details of the line number and file path and name of the file doing the calling as well as the include statement of the file being called. To add the include file to the current project is as easy as double clicking on the right line. Could it be any simpler?
Whilst on the subject of file management, Studio has built in cvs (if you don't know what that is, think open source version of SourceSafe (again by that small software company in Seattle)). With this, you can perform all the commands that you would probably want (well, maybe). Very useful when developing SourceForge projects (the only major use of cvs that I could think of).

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