NuSphere PHPEd review

I am normally a vim user when I code but I decided to pop my head out of my cubicle and try something new on the editor front. So I decided to check out NuSphere.

What I like:

  • Works very well straight out of the box. Very little configuring needed to activate the various capabilities and all of them “just worked”.
  • The built in FTP/SFTP client – very handy when working with remote files –
  • The built in DB navigator – covers multiple RDBMS
  • built in ssh/telnet terminal
  • built in cvs
  • built in debugger
  • very customizable – I like dark themes
  • Code Insight shows the input params of a function while you are typing it – no need to look in the manual
  • Multiple manuals included in the HELP menu – offline – they are right there

What I don’t like:

  • php4 and php5 syntax highlighting are 2 seperate things – and you can’t copy one “theme” to the other. They must be set individually by hand.
  • to send SQL to the DB you have to open a wizard – would prefer to be able to right click on the DB client and select “open SQL window”
  • code completion when using mysqli and PDO in an Object Oriented manor is not available. It is available in the procedural style however. (To make it available I have to create a php file with all the methods documented. They do have a file for the SPL to show you what it looks like. And then point to it in one of the projects properties.)
  • Code Insight can be irritating if it just happens to be covering something you want to see while you type (displays above the line you are typing. Can’t move it anywhere else like below or to the side.)
  • No code folding. I use this all the time. It has a code browser though so I may not mind it as much – least that is what I have been told by friends who love their code browser.
  • the libmysql.dll that comes with the default install does not work with MySQL 4.1<= . From what I understand it has to do with the new licenses. Anyway – if you are using a later version of MySQL you need to use the newest version of the libmysql.dll (I just copied it from my PHP 5 install to the nusphere install).
  • not having an embedded Firefox to go with the IE. It does work with the external FF – but it would be nice to have it all in the IDE (and yes I want it on a silver spoon too 😀 )

Overall impressions – pretty dang cool. A lot of the things I didn’t like were nit-picky kind of stuff – but i have to admit I am like that. All the built in stuff was very cool and easy to set up (normally use various apps to do them).

The one major downer is the price – $119, $299, and $495 USD (comparable to Zend Studio). You can see what you get for each version here. If you want to try it out for yourself – they do have a free trial version available for download.