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Ides Missing From 5Th Edition

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Hello -


I'm far enough into the book to discover other than the fact that IDEs are frequently mentioned in how to create or edit php files ("use text editor or IDE"), there is no explanation of what an IDE is, how they are used, which ones are useful, or which one you recommend for starters.


After searching the Internet to find what one was, I have download three of them, to see which best suits my needs and my learning curve tolerance.  Still sorting through them, but they already are more useful than a simple text editor, especially for a beginner such as myself.


That said, would you mind answering those "missing" questions here?


Being on a budget, I am exploring three free ones:  Netbeans, Eclipse, and CodeLite




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And thanks for your answer!


I burned through the 30 use trial of RapidPHP before I could connect it with xdebug,  and the 30 day trial of ZendStudio, which I quit early, as I couldn't see much difference between it and eclipse, which is free.  RapidPHP  is only $39.95, but PHP7 seems like an afterthought.


ZendStudio has a personal use license for $89.00, but as I said, it seems like a paid clone of eclipse.


I have been having some success with both CodeLite, Netbeans, and Eclipse (all free), but if there was paid software out there that would be a lot better for writing and debugging code, at this point, I'd say my price point is around $100.00



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At the moment, I'm still working with CodeLite, Eclipse, and Netbeans.  Don't know any of them well enough to reach a decision, but I noticed they all have features I don't need at the moment, but would come in handy in the future.


After screwing up my site by uploading files, I'm now looking in to SVN and GIT to version things (once I figure out how versioning works and how it is incorporated into the IDEs.  Don't have plans to collaborate with anyone, besides myself.  So far, that's been bad enough. :)


I found your book PHP for the Web: Visual QuickStart Guide (5th Edition) helpful in understanding what I've been doing over the years, but for a lot of it I already knew from trial and error.  Was please to know I had actually learned something while copy/pasting lines of code.  Seems like I'm ready for PHP and MySQL for Dynamic Web Sites: Visual QuickPro Guide.


Does that book cover php7 and mysqli?  Also, do any of your books cover making templates with php or how to use Twig?


Thanks for your time, and for writing these books.  For so long, my main source of understandable information came from googling forever to find an answer that not only worked, but was comprehensible.



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Hey Dale,


Thanks for the nice words on the books. It is appreciated. As for the PHP & MySQL book, I believe the 4th edition uses the MySQL Improved Extension and PHP 5.5 or so. I'm updating it now for PHP 7, but that's not affecting a lot of the content in the book. I don't think I've ever covered templating with Smarty or Twig in any detail; it's not something I tend to do myself. 


As for IDEs, there's a higher barrier to entry than using a text editor, so I don't necessarily recommend them for beginners. And there's often normally a higher cost. On the other hand you'll probably get a built in code runner, code completion, documentation, and debugger. These are all great, although they're also things you can do with most text editors that can be souped up. (I'm a Sublime Text person myself.) More than anything what you want to do is find an application that works for you and spend the time to get the most out of it. If you can find an IDE or text editor that's well documented, maybe even with video tutorials, there's a lot to be said for that. 


In terms of IDE recommendations, the IDEs that JetBrain puts out are very good quality, including PHPStorm: https://www.jetbrains.com/phpstorm/


Unfortunately it's a subscription pricing model, which I hate. Many of the other options, including Zend Studio I think, are built on top of Eclipse, and I'd personally rather have a native app than a Java one.


http://www.mpsoftware.dk/phpdesigner.php gets positive marks, but I haven't personally used it. 


As for version control, you're likely going to want to learn git at some point. However, git is perhaps the most complex technology I've ever learned (in terms of truly grasping it and grasping its use within an organization), so there's a lot to be said for holding off on that until later.


Hope that helps and let me know if you have any other questions!

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