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Eclipse for the PHP Developer Page 4

By Shu-Wai Chow
on September 21, 2004

Features for the PHP Developer
Eclipse Editor
The Editor alone is worth the price of admission. In addition to being well versed in
syntax highlighting, The Editor also knows all the PHP functions and HTML tags. Within <?php
and ?> tags, try typing “mysql” and then hit Control and Space. All functions beginning with
“mysql” will appear. Select the one you want and hit Enter. You can see all HTML tags when you are
outside of the php directive tags. Type “<” and hit Control and Space. This is the Eclipse
template system at work. A template is also available in the Java Development Perspective for the
standard Java Class Libraries.
As with any good IDE, PHPEclipse has a debugger to set breakpoints, step through code, and
monitor variable values along the way. In the Editor, double click on the column just to the
left of the line number to set a breakpoint. To debug, click on the file and select Run -> Debug
As -> PHP Application. This will activate the Debug Perspective. From the Debug View, you can
step through code. The Variables View shows all application and environment variables, and their values.
The installation of the debugger is not for those with weak stomachs. Moreover, as of this writing,
there are a few reported bugs in the debugger of the latest version of PHPEclipse. For Windows users,
if you follow PHPEclipse’s wampp-based instructions, it should work. For other platforms, you should use
the dbg section from those instructions as general guidelines. You will need to install and configure the
dbg debugger PHP extension available at http://dd.cron.ru/dbg/downloads.php.
PHPEclipse acts as a client to this extension.