13 August 2008

PHP, Zend Studio for Eclipse, Subversion... hmmm

Since one month ago I've been working for a PHP-oriented software house. We're growing. Some good stuff is being churned out, but things are becoming a little unstable as the workload piles up and current project management methodologies start to buckle.


So tomorrow we look forward to a full day of meeting that will tackle this issue and provide us with a clear path of action towards all round developer joy.

I have been given the unholy task of managing our internal systems development. This means looking for ways to improve. But for me to give an accurate idea of the possibilities I've had to get stuck in to some areas that up to now I've been fairly cautious of: Eclipse and Subversion.

Eclipse is something I don't go more than two days without hearing something about. I'm told it's a developers IDE. It's extensible, scalable, customisable, pliable, malleable, something-able, able-able. The list goes on.

The depth of it scared me. What's all this perspectives and views? So many options, so little documentation. Plugins or standalone? My research led me down many paths - of which a greater proportion had dead ends... or rather large unsuspecting precipices with no foreseeable bottom.

I came to conclude the following: if you already use Eclipse and wish to add supreme PHP functionality into an existing installation, go here: http://static.zend.com/topics/Installing-Studio-v601-Plugins.pdf. If on the other hand you are happy to use a separate installation (or don't have/need a full Eclipse install) download Zend Studio for Eclipse for your platform and install the standalone version.

Then came my wrangles with Subversion. This is something I've been itching to get my head around for a while now. I finally managed it with the help of a brilliant guide - http://svnbook.red-bean.com/. I set up Subversion as a daemon process and created my first repository based on my long-running project.

Then I put the two together. Couldn't be simpler. So my plan is hatched: move some existing/ongoing projects to Subversion (SVN) and get the team hooked up with Zend Studio (ZS) (for those who want to use it), probably even Eclipse (as we're doing a bit of Flex work now too!).

The next problem came though when I found that projects created in ZS based on a checked-out version of an SVN repository suffered from a distinct lack of code assist. How silly. I tried the basics. No joy. What would be the use of this? Well further research revealed the cause and the solution. So for all of you writhing in agony over this: don't go elsewhere, just fix it!

The fix is published here for your benefit. I don't know if this will ever be addressed in a future build of ZS but for now this will do.

Ah that was cathartic.

I wanted to do my links for this week but I haven't been doing any web-hopping (or whopping as I will call it) for a while, so I have little to share. Except perhaps for a couple of sites which ignited my passion for randomness: http://xkcd.com/ || http://creativescrape.com/

Enjoy!

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