Working on Netbeans 6.5, and loving it

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Netbeans has recently released version 6.5 of their powerful IDE. It comes with PHP support which can either be downloaded as a plug-in or installed as a stand-alone module. I’ve started working with it few days ago and am really impressed with it. Here are a a few things that I like about it:

User friendly

Creating new projects is really easy. They can be created either from scratch or from existing source files. The interface is clean and useful. It has file and project explorer, a navigation panel to quickly access the methods/members of your class files, a pallet to create HTML pages in drag-and-drop manner and lots more.

Code Assistance

It provides your basic PHP/JavaScript/HTML/CSS code auto-complete features like most other IDEs. Interestingly you can add your PHP framework/library files in the include path of your project and have the IDE suggest methods/members of the classes you have included in your script. It also supports code assistance for JQuery, Prototype and Scriptaculous.

Lightweight

It has a smaller footprint on system resource compared to Eclipse PDT and Aptana Editor, and even its predecessor Netbeans 6.1. It loads much faster than those on my Windows XP machine. I am yet to try it out on Ubuntu.

It free!

Yes. The last but not the least!

The thing that I don’t like about it, that it no longer separates the project specific files from the source files, as the 6.1 did. I work on Windows Desktop connected to a Linux server through Samba share. So I am left with ‘nbproject’ folders on the development server, which I have to manually remove when migrating the sources to production server.

Still Netbeans 6.5 is a decent 8 out of 10 on my book.

Download Link:

http://www.netbeans.org/downloads/index.html

Here’s a couple of screencasts to get started with the IDE:

http://blogs.sun.com/netbeansphp/entry/demo_of_the_php_support
http://blogs.sun.com/netbeansphp/entry/demo_of_the_php_distribution

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2 thoughts on “Working on Netbeans 6.5, and loving it

  1. Hi,
    I am a very big fan of zend studio 5.5, for its facilities for PHP..I am really confused whether the netBeans IDE can provide the same flexibility on this particular platform of PHP as I have already had a bad experience while I was working with J2ME with the netbeans.

    In which context it is better than the zend apart from the fact of the facilities of support regarding JQuery, Prototypes etc. etc.

    I have netbeans IDE 6.5, but I avoided it because of my previous experiences..

  2. @Zamee – I guess every workman has a preferred tool for his craft, in my case that’s Netbeans, yours is Zend. I know a guy who likes VI. My complains against Zend is that –

    1. It’s not free($400 per year) and
    2. It’s too resource hungry.

    I never used Netbeans for J2ME so I can’t say anything about that,
    although I worked on J2EE and C++ with it and faced little or no problem.

    You might want to give the new version a try.

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