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My Review of NetBeans IDE PHP – and Comparison to DreamWeaver

Someone asked for more details about why I like NetBeans, so here’s my brief review of NetBeans IDE 6.9 + PHP and how it compares to Dreamweaver (CS4). I have been a Windows + Dreamweaver user for 10 years.

For personal reasons, I have started evaluating some of my development efforts in Ubuntu 10.10 + NetBeans PHP 2 months ago. So far so good. It scans your folders for class/parameter/function definitions and creates a custom auto complete library. It is open source with lots of open source plugins. It does not crash like DW likes to do once in a while. It supports advanced Subversion commands (if you’re familiar with TortoiseSVN, the menu items looks like that).

The search feature is very fast (or is it because I’m running Linux?). Color coding and error hints have been very accurate even when intertwined in HTML and PHP, but sometimes, it is too critical, for example:

<div> </Div>

will show up as an error because of the capital D. I love auto termination of common symbols like test (brackets), {braces}, and ‘quotes’.

My dislikes include the lack of a WYSIWYG editor plugin that looks like Dreamweaver’s ‘Design View or Split View’. FTP functionality pales in comparison to DW’s more intelligent FTP and synchronization system.

Well it has only been a couple of months. I will post a more updated review in the NetBeans IDE in the future.