Advice on IDE's please.


macrumors 6502
Original poster
Jun 29, 2006
Rhyl, North Wales
Hi, for the last year or so I've been playing around with PHP, MySQL and HTML5. Primarily for fun, I've been making a customer database for work and i've really enjoyed doing it. What I would like to know is if i'm going about things the right way. I'll explain what I've been doing so far in a moment but I should explain my main priority is cost. Like I said, this is for fun mainly so my employer isn't prepared to pay much.

So PHP and MySQL where used because its cheap to buy hosting (I'm using 1&1 currently). It also meant i could run also run a free MAMP server locally to test on. I've been using Coda by Panic for the actual coding and iWebKit as an iOS theme.

I was wondering if this was the best way forward or is there a better package/environment to use?

Im really only interested in working on Apps like this rather than games or anything else so I don't think learning Objective C would be worth it. Also don't think its worth learning how to write a backend server app or anything as I'm really not at that level at all...

I'm fairly sure that HTML/PHP/Javascript are the technologies I should be working in but wonder if I'm re-inventing the wheel.

I was wondering what other people are doing?

just on a side note, I wanted to expand the database i have made and taylor it for the iPad and other tablet devices. Is there a framework tailored for these too?


Apr 26, 2005
Los Angeles, CA
HTML5, PHP and MySQL are great technologies. There are some great frameworks that extend PHP such as Zend that you may find useful. Aside from PHP, some people also like Ruby. I do not. But some people do. ;)

In terms of what coding software you should use, there's no wrong answer, you just have to find something you like. Here's what I use when I'm on a Mac:

Transmit for FTP
TextMate for HTML/PHP/JavaScript/etc
Sequel Pro for MySQL management
And, of course Terminal for tunneling directly in to the server when I need to.

Hopefully some of those links will prove to be useful.


macrumors 6502a
Sep 2, 2010
Eclipse blows the doors off the text editors -- it's an actual IDE.

It may be a bit much for what you need, and it's a bit heavy + can get sluggish, but there's nothing out there as good, IMO.

The other PHP IDEs that have a bit of traction are Zend Studio ($$$) and NetBeans, but they don't have the functionality of Eclipse, in my experience.


macrumors member
Dec 5, 2011
As I'm sure you know "best" is a subjective statement.

My personal opinion is that before you give everything a try (and there are a lot of nice apps, from Chocolat to Eclipse) become comfortable in a simple text editor, perhaps with syntax highlighting.

Once you are very comfortable with that you may find you like it or you may find that you love the work IDEs do for you. Trying an IDE so soon might hinder you in the long run, it is important as a developer to be flexible and work with what you are given for a certain task - a skill that is best learned by using the bare bones software first.


macrumors member
Jan 21, 2008
After trying many of the commonly suggested text editors (textwrangler, coda, dreamweaver, espresso, bbedit), I settled on textmate, mostly because it seemed to work the way I thought it should. For me it just seemed intuitive in the way it did indentations, plugins, and color themes.
About the time I got used to textmate, I saw a recommendation for sublime text 2. I have since switched to that, because it has many of the advantages of textmate, but it is also being actively developed. All of the textmate bundles work for it, and it provides some extra features like navigation shortcuts, split screen, and distraction free mode.

Knowing HTML/PHP/Javascript will give you pretty much endless possibilities with whatever you want to create (+CSS if you want it to look good and be usable). Rather than starting with the raw basics, though, I would suggest getting some help by starting with a well documented framework, such as codeigniter (PHP) and jQuery (javascript). There are lots of tutorials and forums for these, and they will help you get started quickly and learn some best-practices.
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