NetBeans has some nice features which make development easier and quicker:
- Inline PHP validation errors
- PhpDoc integration
- Jump to function usage/definition
- Built-in debugger that works with Xdebug
- Jira plugin
- Rename refactoring
- An option to remove trailing whitespace when saving files
- It’s a Java app
- The icon is horrible
Download the latest PHP IDE Bundle from http://netbeans.org/downloads/index.html
This is the configuration I use for the tools and standards we use in our daily development. Yours will likely be different, but don’t worry. NetBeans has plugins for just about anything you could want, from SCM integration to debugging tools to ticketing system integration.
This is provided by the nbgit plugin. While I don’t use any of the git features to commit/branch/merge/etc. from within NetBeans, the sidebar highlighting of file changes and git file status in the Project/File panel have been very useful. To install:
- Download the latest plugin file from https://code.google.com/p/nbgit/
- Open the Plugins manager (`Tools/Plugins`). Select the `Downloaded` tab and browse to the file you downloaded and install it.
For project tracking we use Jira. The NetBeans Jira plugin allows you to add, update, and search Jira tickets from within the IDE. To install:
- Open the Plugins manager (`Tools/Plugins`). Select the `Available Plugins` tab and install the plugin.
- Once installed go to `Team/Find Issues…` to set up a new Issue Tracker and enter your Jira credentials.
Other Useful Plugins
For each project I change the following after setup in the project properties:
- Sources: Uncheck Allow short tags (<?)
- Run Configuration: Enter Project URL
In TextMate I was using the IR_Black theme so I like this slightly tweaked version of the IR_Black TextMate theme.
After using NetBeans as my primary editor for a couple months, I’m going to stick with it. The benefits far outweigh the drawbacks and I’ve been more productive since I spend less time hunting for the right function or a function’s arguments than I was with TextMate. Being able to jump to a core WordPress function definition quickly has been time saver when I want to see exactly what the code is doing.
NetBeans isn’t a TextMate replacement. I still use TextMate for quick file editing and for some of the bundles that I can’t live without. I haven’t found a substitute for the
mate command line command so editing files quickly from a command line still happens in TextMate. TextMate has become a strong complement to NetBeans.