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CodeLobster Review

Recently I’ve tried CodeLobster PHP Edition as a PHP-code editor. As it turned out, that editor has a variety of useful features. So it can be viewed as a complete integrated development environment for PHP. What is the most interesting – CodeLobster can simplify web projects development process strongly if you use different frameworks and CMS. For example, such as Drupal, Joomla, JQuery, CakePHP, Yii, WordPress and others. In this article you can find some details about the features of this product.

CodelobsterBy the way, CodeLobster PHP Edition is available in free, Lite and Professional editions:

The free edition of the application has a minimal set of functions that any IDE provides for PHP development: syntax highlighting for HTML, CSS, JavaScript and PHP code, autocomplete, code collapse, highlighting of the open/close tags and parentheses, project manager, PHP debugger and other useful features.

The Lite edition has on-the-fly code analysis for HTML, CSS, PHP and other languages, SQL manager, FTP client, SASS and LESS support, version control system support, files comparing and other abilities additionally.

If you decide to purchase CodeLobster Professional Edition, popular frameworks and CMS becomes enabled in addition to the features of the free and Lite editions. It means that you will be able to work with Drupal CMS, Joomla CMS, Smarty engine, Twig, JQuery library, CodeIgniter, CakePHP, Laravel, Symfony, Yii and WordPress.

Click this link to download CodeLobster PHP Edition. You will have 30 days trial period for using the Professional edition. After that you will have to get a free key on CodeLobster web site or purchase Lite or Professional edition.

Installation

Almost any Microsoft Windows OS version is acceptable for CodeLobster installation. This process is standard:

  • left double click on the downloaded file to run the installation;
  • accept the terms of the License Agreement and click ‘Next’ button;
  • specify a destination folder;
  • specify a Start menu folder;
  • specify file types associated with the application;
  • you can select a color scheme for the editor, for example Notepad++, NetBeans, PHPEdit, PSPad, Zend and any other from a list of predefined ones;
  • select interface language;
  • at the last step select components you want to install and then click Install button.

In several seconds CodeLobster PHP Edition is ready for using.

Program Interface

CodeLobster PHP Edition interface has a standard structure of panels with a set of tabs that is common for many other IDEs. It is possible to customize an arrangement of panels using drag-n-drop mouse feature. Every panel has a definite number of tabs: ‘File’, ‘Class view’, ‘Properties’, ‘Errors’, ‘Call stack’, ‘Project’ and so on.

It is possible to hide, add and transpose tabs. There is a tool panel on the top of the application window.

codelobster-snap

Previously I was working a lot with different IDEs such as Visual Studio and NetBeans. Their interface is similar to CodeLobster’s one. So when I start working with CodeLobster PHP Edition, it doesn’t make any problem for me.

Features of the editor
The text editor has a lot of functions and features:

  1. There is syntax highlighting for the most popular languages used by web developers: PHP, HTML, CSS, JavaScript. Code highlighting also works in files with mixed code:
    code-lobester-htmlIf you want to change a color scheme for tags, key words, attributes, function names and others, you can do that by choosing item ‘Edit’ – ‘Color’ in the ‘CodeLobster Preferences’ window. This window opens by following ‘Tools’ menu and then ‘Preferences’ item.preference-codelobsterBesides syntax highlighting, CodeLobster highlights open/close tags and parentheses. For example, blocks of PHP code are usually arranged within braces. If to put the cursor into this code block, the editor highlights neighbor braces. The same happens with the open/close tags in HTML code. You can collapse and expand such code by pressing “minus” or “plus” buttons:codelobester-plusIf to move the mouse over the collapsed code block, a balloon pop-up with the code content appears:codelobeter-tooltipAll these features such as code collapsing, code blocks highlighting, balloon pop-ups make the work with large files much easier.
  2. The editor has a powerful autocomplete function for PHP, HTML, CSS, JavaScript. That means when you start typing a function name, tag, CSS property or some other, a pop-up window with a list of matched functions appears. A developer can select a necessary item from the appeared list.In addition to that, a pop-up list contains custom functions, classes and variables for PHP and JavaScript except predefined constants and functions:
    codelobester-autocompleteFor HTML except providing autocomplete for tags, attributes and attributes values, the editor puts closing tags automatically.If you have a Professional edition of CodeLobster, you can apply autocomplete for the most popular CMS and PHP frameworks such as Joomla, WordPress, Drupal, CakePHP, Yii and others. Here is an example of autocomplete for WordPress functions and arguments:codelobester-wp
    Using the autocomplete feature in CodeLobster PHP Editor allows you to write your code much quicker.
  3. There is a context help for all supported languages. If you put the cursor over a function, attribute or tag name and then press F1, a list of links appears. Click on any of these links opens a detailed description from the official web resource (of course, if the internet connection is on) for the current element:
    contextIf the internet connection is off, the element description opens from the local help system (MSDN or chm help file), which should be downloaded and set up previously:codelobester-contxt-intThe context help also works for the following CMS and frameworks: AngularJS, CodeIgniter, Drupal API, Facebook API, JQuery, Joomla, Smarty, Twig, WordPress and Yii, of course, if you have installed all of them.Except the context help, the editor provides a brief description of a function. That description appears in a pop-up window when the cursor is over the function name. It is very useful in case when you need to recognise function arguments or what kind of values the function returns:codelobester-tip
  4. Code inspector. CodeLobster PHP Edition has three modes of work:Code mode: type and edit code; Preview mode: preview results of a code; it means that in the editor window you can view how the code works by selecting ‘Preview’ tab:codelobester-inspector Inspector mode: so called code inspector. This mode is useful enough for work with code. In this mode the window is divided into three areas:codelobester-hellowordThe upper area displays results of your code, the left area is intended for code editing, the right area shows CSS styles of the web page elements.Code inspector is a very convenient mode for work with HTML code. In this mode it is very simple to find any piece of a code that is needed. So you can select any element in the preview area, right after that a corresponding code appears in the left area and CSS rules affected the selected element appears in the right area.Code inspector is also very useful and convenient for work WordPress and Joomla templates:

    codelobester-pagepreview

  5. There is a PHP debugger that allows you to debug the application before it’s uploaded to a web-server.The editor provides a corresponding tools panel for work with the debugger:
    codelobester-toolbarUsing this tools panel you can run the debugging process, put stop points and execute each string of a code step-by-step.After the debug process is running, the application interrupts code executing at the stop points. When the application stops, you can verify variables values at this point of the code, view functions call stack and then continue code executing step-by-step.
  6. You can merge files into a project. To do that, select menu ‘File’ – ‘New’ – ‘Project’:Codelobester-prjCreate Project window opens:codelobester-prj-newIt is possible to create a simple PHP project. Besides, you can create a web site with the help of CakePHP, CodeIgniter, Drupal, Joomla, Symfony, WordPress and Yii if you have them installed. There is an ability to create new or add existing files to your project. Since files are merged together, it is easy to perform searching of variables, functions and classes because they are grouped into a project structure:
    codelobester-class-viewIf the FTP connection is set up, you can upload your project to a web server immediately. It is also possible to integrate a version control system such as GIT, SVN and others.About the rest features I’d like to mark the following ones: navigation to function descriptions and plugged files when pressed the CTRL button; preview in a browser; bookmarks; a portable edition; popup hint that displays an image and its size:
    codelobester-image-preview
    Resume 

    A short examination was enough to understand that CodeLobster PHP Editor is a convenient and powerful development environment for PHP. It has a lot of tools for writing, debugging and testing programming code. Especially I want to mention that the editor is compatible with popular CMS such as Drupal, Joomla, CakePHP, Yii, JQuery and other frameworks.

    CodeLobster PHP Editor can be a very good tool for work with complex and large web projects. I’d like to recall that you can download the editor totally free from the CodeLobster official web site. You can turn for advice or assistance to a technical support service or use a forum on the site. It will help you to get answers for all your questions, or you can find out some new details about the application work.

    This is all for today. See you soon!

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Ankur Kumar Singh

I am a PHP programmer having some knowledge about Linux. I am always interested in web development and knowledge sharing. I am full time tech evangelist part time human being. :-)

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