I recently started using the PhpED IDE for some of my new PHP projects when I work on a windows platform. I really wish PhpED was made to work on other platforms but we will have to wait and see if that happens in the future.
The overall layout of PhpED is clean and easy to use. Anyone who has a background which involved working with Visual Studio should feel right at home.
The code highlighting is great, better than what I have seen in most IDE’s and it let’s you easily distinguish between HTML, Javscript, CSS, and PHP. The code navigator which defaults to the right hand side of the screen gives a quick overview of the different functions in the current file which I am editing, I found this very useful when editing larger files where I was going back and forth between functions. Code completion was amazing and once much better than what I have seen with other IDE’s, it was quick and easy to use, standard functions showed hints or summaries of what they are used for and functions which were defined in other parts of my project were automatically there with easy navigation to the function in case I needed to check what the function did again. I tested this on a large Magento installation and found it to work beautifully. There was no lag with these features, the suggestions were instantly there without me even thinking about it or waiting for these suggestions to load.
Overall the PhpED IDE is great and brings a lot of really good and high quality features to the table. You can tell that a lot of time has been spent on the most vital features of the program which makes it quick and easy to use. There are however some things which could make my experience with the IDE better, during the first launch it was a bit confusing trying to configure my first project. I could see how this could discourage more novice users when trying the software. In the beginning it was also a bit unclear as to why I needed to setup the debugger and test my PHP environment during the project setup process. In some ways I felt that this should be something that should be optional and left out of the setup process, it would be nice with a quicker project setup. However, once you get the hang of the program you should be creating projects quickly and you will come to appreciate the nice debugger which is included. I really like PhpED and would definitely recommend it to anyone looking for a windows based PHP IDE.