My ZendStudio wishlist

ZendStudio has become my IDE of choice. I was formerly addicted to vim which I’m using now when I don’t have ZDE there or something has to be „hotfixed“ on the server. It’s great that Zend is making early access builds available and you can see how the IDE matures and matures.

My wishlist:

  • direct PHPDoc support: for vim I had a cool plugin which automagically writes the docblock whenever I finish a function, class or var declaration with an {. This was very handful because I never forgot to write the PHPDoc – vim reminded me on that. In ZDE, I manually have to right-click on every method/function in the class/function browser and add the PHPDoc docblock. This is not very intuitive.
  • extensive PHPUnit support: although I mostly don’t use PHPUnit (there are several other testing methods available), a good PHPUnit support would be helpful: automatic test class generation, code coverage support etc.
  • SOAP (PHP5) support: provide a SOAP server skeleton out of classes/methods with just a mouseclick
  • Detect that the content of a file has changed even when using scp: although this may be traffic-intensive, it can be useful to know if the remote file has changed and the IDE asks you if the file should be reloaded.

SOAP, the PHP5 way

In addition to Johannes‘ blog entry, my experience with PHP5 is also a positive one: we are using it since PHP5.0beta3 in production for an international project at Vaillant where external systems (VB.NET, Java) are accessing the systems‘ functions with a SOAP interface.

I chose PHP5 and the corresponding ext/soap for this because the SOAP extension currently is the best one available for PHP and the one with the most promising future. The web application itself runs with PHP4 (we’ll think about switching to PHP5.1 and up next year when PHP5 is as fast as PHP4) as mod_php on an Apache with mod_php5 on a second Apache which is proxied to the first Apache so that on port 80 we have PHP4 _and_ PHP5 (CGI was no option here) – both PHPs are pointing to the same document root (I’m glad that our e-business framework Chairman runs without changes on PHP5 :-), and the PHP5 one is only accessed via the SOAP service.

The system is very stable, we only had some problems with .NET accessing the WSDL service (mainly because .NET expects arrays of arrays in another way), but successfully shipped around this problem.

Note to Dimitri: please allow to setup more than 1 class for building the SOAP server, thanks.


About one week ago i did the about 3526th most important thing in my live: my development platform is no longer php4, it’s php5 now. since i (and my customers, more important) are depending on a stable development environment, that’s not as simple as it may seem. And – surprise, surprise – everything went fine, all my applications kept on running, no segfault or bug up to now. One of our bigger customers, an Austrian bank, uses php5 in production for a month as well with no problems so far. Seems like php5 is production ready earlier than expected (with 5.1, that was).
Nevertheless i am looking forward to 5.1, with those impressive speed improvements and *nudging_pierre* an integrated pimp.