I know that a lot of people say that you're never a true coder if you use anything
that has code completion, but it is stil incredibly useful for someone that
spends all their time developing, and Zend acomplishes this task very well.
When you start typing a word in, if the word is (for example) a built in function,
then it gives that name, the number of
parameters needed and also the variable type of those parameters. The same sort
of thing happens with PHP's predefined variables. However, it doesn't just stop
at the predefined functions and variables. No, if you have any functions in
either the same script or and included file, then Studio will recognise these
and process them the same way it does built in ones. It will also pick out user-defined
variables and use a pop-up box if
it recognises a variable and then you can either click on the box or just hit
enter. ZDE also completes HTML, as do most IDEs, but not only that, it will
also recognise if (for some reason) you use the ASP "<% %>"
One of the features of PHP that not everyone knows about, and probably even
less use, is its Object Orientation features. And with the forthcoming v5 of
PHP (which, by the way, this version of Zend Studio supports) these functions
will become ever more popular. ZDE makes it very easier to see what's going
on in your (or other people's) classes, with
its in-built Project and File Inspectors. The Project Inspector allows the user
to view the classes and members that have been declared in every file in your
Each class and member is displayed using collapsible trees, which makes it very
easy to navigate the said classes. To make it even easier to read, icons are
displayed next to each item to indicate whether the item is a class, member
variable or member function. The File Inspector is very similar, except that
it only searches through the active file. So, when you change the file using
the tabs underneath the main coding screen, the file inspector will become updated
accordingly. This inspector uses the same tree formation to display the classes,
but also displayes included files.
The code completion also applies to classes and methods within classes.