Which Code Editor is Best for Teaching PHP?
There are soooooooo many choices out there these days when it comes to writing PHP code. Here are just a few popular apps:
- Sublime Text – uber-nerds love this one!
- Dreamweaver – yes, it has a code editor too.
And there are many others, and I am not including the PHP IDE’s out there!
A PHP IDE (by the way,) is short for ‘Integrated Development Environment’. It is a code editor on steroids. They are much more powerful than standard code editors but they are also harder to learn. These days (2015) PHPStorm seems to one of the best, if not the best.
… The guys who created PHPStorm, created my favorite IDE for Java – IntelliJ IDEA. My nerd-servants are telling me PHPStorm is amazing. But, when teaching beginners how to program in PHP (or any other language,) it is best to not expose them to the added complexity of learning a full blown IDE. They can be very complex.
Back to code editors – so which is best?
In a nutshell: If I were teaching PHP, I would use either Sublime Text or Notepad++ if I was on Windows. Sublime Text works on both Mac and Windows but the license is ambiguous: it is free to demo but at some point you are supposed to pay the $70 for it. Not sure when though? I heard of some users still demoing it after 2 years!
This is a consideration for schools in terms of licensing. On the other hand, Notepad++ is free but it is Windows only.
Textwrangler is a Mac only HTML, CSS code editor but I don’t see you could use it for PHP.
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