Zend Studio, Zend Development Environment Personal Review

Zend, a great force in the world of PHP development has what I think is the only IDE for PHP related development. All in all I think this is great and I am glad that this company offers such a product. It certainly helps the PHP cause and probably drives adoption in the corporate world. It also has features that I am sure can’t be found elsewhere in the PHP development world such as debugging with variable watching and break points and so on.

Unfortunately, (speaking as a MacOS X user) this software has not lived up to my expectations. It is just a bit too rough around the edges for me to get to the point where I am willing to try the more advanced features.

Here is a list of what is wrong which I will update as find problems:

  • The pop-up menus that are shown when launching the program (Auto-Update and Tip of the Day) have checkboxes which seem to allow you to choose whether or not you would like the program continue showing them, or not. Unfortunately, no matter what I do, they always show.
  • I am unable to create a new file by choosing the File::New File command. The only way I am able to create a new file is by pressing the new file icon at the top of the IDE.
  • I am unable to save a project file of any sort. This causes me to have to reload each and every file in a project each and every time I start the program to work on that project.
  • The application does not maintain it’s appearance settings. The windows that I have hidden are back each time I launch. Not a program that I am happy about quitting and starting up again.
  • Of course the program has many good points as well. The syntax highlighting is great. The error underlining as you code is very worthwhile and the command completetion is great.

    Overall, it seems to be beta quality software on the Mac. I may continue to use the free version (despite the ugly messages about not being able to do things in this version) but unless the edges are more polished, I can’t justify paying more than $200.

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