Technology Tales

Adventures & experiences in contemporary technology

A reasonable requirement of an IDE

20th May 2008

I have been having a play with NetBeans IDE Early Access for PHP and, while it has a lot to offer, one impression remains uppermost in my mind: it is so slow. I might have a project with a lot of files in it but start-up takes an age because of project checking. Other functionality such as text searching is far from speedy either. The sluggishness probably arises from this release being very early in its life cycle and it reminds me of how slow older versions of the Java IDE were, even if this is slower. For PHP development, I’ll be giving NetBeans a while to mature before taking another look at it.

On a similar note, I recently dispatched Quanta Plus from my system for sluggish start-ups and will not return to it because other alternatives such as Bluefish and Eclipse PDT fit my needs much better. I like my editors to be slick and responsive and Quanta has been around long enough for any slowness to be knocked out of it. However, I get the feeling that the extras have added bloat while I expect any additional functionality that I never use not to get in my way. It is for the latter reason that I was always able to get on with Dreamweaver and even run it on Ubuntu using the WINE library. If I really wanted a stripped out yet functional editor, Gedit would do most of what I need -- it colour codes syntax for a variety of languages for a start -- but it’s always handy to have a file system explorer window incorporated and I value any syntax checking and auto-completion as well. So, it looks as if Eclipse and Bluefish could be serving my needs for a while to come alongside so use Dreamweaver for online editing of website files.

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