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Why PHP and JavaScript IDE's Suck (jeremymartin.name)
5 points by edw519 on May 1, 2008 | hide | past | web | favorite | 6 comments

Dynamic abbreviations ("dabbrev-expand" and "dabbrev-completion") solve the problem quite nicely 90% of the time. If you keep the documentation open in another buffer, then it works 99% of the time, as long as you have a clue on what you're doing.

People seem a little bit too concerned about getting a java-style 100% correct solution when a 90% solution is nearly as good.

I love Emacs, but I think the lack of 'Intellisense' is one of the few good reasons to use an IDE over Emacs or Vim. Some people think Intellisense rots the brain [1], but I can't see anyone ever saying that about eldoc-mode.

[1] http://www.charlespetzold.com/etc/DoesVisualStudioRotTheMind...

lisp-complete-symbol definitely does rob the brain. I've written plenty of braindead Lisp with its help :) Eldoc is not the same thing, though, since it just shows some basic documentation after you've remembered the name of the function. It's a nice "yeah, I knew that was the name" reminder. Finally, it's easy to "dive deeper" with Lisp, thanks to "describe-function" and friends. I would definitely not complain about having that for other languages. (Languages that don't have docstrings are really annoying me these days. Perl especially.)

Honestly, I use dabbrevs more often than lisp-complete-symbol when writing lisp. It usually gets me what I want with less typing. (There are a lot of lisp functions that start with the same prefix, but not as many that I've used in my editor session. So dabbrev-expand has less to look at, and hence it usually gives me what I want faster.)

I absolutely love working in Komodo Edit (http://www.activestate.com/Products/komodo_edit/). This guy's big complaint seems to be a lack of Intellisense, but seriously, it's OUT there. You just have to look beyond Dreamweaver.

In Komodo, I get intellisense, but the damn thing's even smart enough to pick up if I'm writing javascript inside a <script> tag inside HTML inside a PHP doc - it pops up the appropriate javascript autocomplete stuff and not the PHP stuff. It's awesome.

He probably never tried the javascript editor of netbeans.


why would the author use dreamweaver for php? try zend, or phped. for js, there's aptana. the author is misinformed. that article was a big waste of time.

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