Hi all you php buffs.
Out of simple curiosity I thought I would take a look at php.
I've been programing since I joined IBM as a trainee developer in 1969, so I have some familiarity with programming in (eg) 360 assembler, APL. PL/I, ... , Smalltalk, Java, Swift. (I guess that means I can cut some corners compared to a complete novice.) But my specialty was desktop GUI design, so I'm a bit thin on modern HTML server tech.
I'm hoping you guys can suggest a suitable toolset for having a little play at minimum effort.
Most of my hardware is Mac, so I'd prefer native OSX or Linux under Parallels. Ever since I got my first Mac in 1984 I've seen the command line as something best avoided as far as possible, so I'd prefer something with a proper GUI that doesn't require me to memorise hundreds of bizarre ancronyms. Something like a Smalltalk workspace or the Swift Playground/sandbox would be ideal.
Any suggestions?

2 Months
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Last Post by JamesCherrill

Yes, some kind of IDE. Obviously I already have Netbeans and XCode, but for running php I'm also going to need a web server etc (right?), so I'm looking for a one-click complete develop/run environment. Google lead me to Docker for example, which seems pretty simple, but I'm looking for some recommendations from unbiased people who know what they are talking about.


Check out Bitnami. I use their virtual machines which work out of the box for everything you would need for a LAMP stack environment.

For IDEs, I like PHP Zend Studio, which is a fork of Eclipse. I've found it to be a bit buggy on macs, but I like its feature set. I also use Coda which I think is a great native interface.


I just realised my Netbeans was out of date, and the latest (8.2) includes php 7, so maybe that's the easiest route for me?

It lies. It "supports" php7 (7.0 but not 7.1), but doesn't come with it. You just get the 5.6 that's standard in OSX. You can instal 7 by using terminal gibberish from the last century, and "php -v" shows 7.0, but so far I've failed to get Netbeans to use it.
What is it with php developers? Java Netbeans or Swift XCode you just click on the installer and (optionally) change an defaults you don't like. Is is some kind of machismo thing where you have to prove your manhood by jumping throgh hoops?

Some time later:
OK, got 7.0 in Netbeans - just a question of finding where it was installed (at the bottom of a deep nest of cryptic folders - all hidden by default)

Edited by JamesCherrill


I'm a bit late but rather than VMs I'd recommend Docker with Kitematic.

From the UI you can search for images and in a couple of clicks have the latest and greatest pulled and running locally. Operating systems, databases, programming environments, forums, bug trackers, infrastructure, CI, you name it, there are images for it.

There's a video with a brief introduction here. At the nine minute mark he demonstrates mapping drives, which will give you what you need from a playground point of view.


Anyone using PHP should, I repeat, should use phpStorm. It's a paid software, but worth every penny. Give it a try, you wont' be disappointed.

There are plenty of ways you can have php running on your own system. Install MAMP and you're all set. I hope this helps.


I've heard good things about PHP Storm even though I've never used it myself. The reason I like Zend PHP Studio is for its Git / GitHub integration and SFTP functionality. Does phpStorm offer those things?


At 89 Euros for a one year licence ("individual pricing") PHPStorm isn't going to be my toolset of choice for a simple look-and-learn experimental project.

Now I have PHP 7 working in the NetBeans environment that I already know, I think I'll stick with that for the moment. Set up for one-click-to-run via the biilt-in web server it's a close to a playground as I'm going to get. And it has built-in support for Docker for more ambitious stuff.

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