The PHP IDE Conundrum

Aptana, Dreamweaver, Coda, and Netbeans logos

For years, I’ve been looking for the optimal IDE for PHP programming. That’s why, for years, I’ve been using Dreamweaver. There simply wasn’t anything else better out there.

The number one show-stopper has been the ability to upload on save via FTP and SFTP. Dreamweaver has offered this seemingly rudimentary functionality for years. In addition, Dreamweaver has always had the capability to view remote files, in a split window, alongside local files.

Then, I tried Coda. Not bad, but too basic for my tastes… almost dumbed-down. BUT then… there was Netbeans! Very promising, but no ability to see remote files. Back to Dreamweaver.

I will say that I use TextMate on a daily basis. It’s fast, elegant, and somewhat basic… albeit, no file transfer.

In comes Aptana. This IDE packs a punch, with features geared more towards hard-core developers… and… it’s FREE! Out of the box, there’s no built-in “upload on save” functionality. However, there is the capability to add scripts and plugins. Aptana includes the script (upload_current_file_on_save.js), but it must be altered before use.

Here’s how:

So, move over Dreamweaver, Coda, and Netbeans. I truly believe Aptana is on its way up the ladder… to become the premier web development IDE. (It’s long overdue!)

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