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Using an IDE (Visual Studio Code)
A good IDE (= integrated development environment) can boost your coding productivity tremendously.
After getting used to its advanced editing features, syntax highlighting, intelligent code completion, and debugging capabilities, you won't want to go back to a simple text editor.
While in the previous chapter we used
git from the command line, the built-in git support makes it unnecessary to remember the git command syntax.
The majority of php developers use either
Visual Studio Code or
PhpStorm. In this playground we will look at VS Code.
Installing and using VS Code
Visual Studio Code tutorial is beyond the scope of this article.
Just grab it from its website and install.
There are good Getting Started guides available, and basic usage is quite intuitive.
If you start the IDE with
code . from the directory you created for your git repo, the repo will be opened and VS Code's Explorer tab will show all your files within the repo.
One of the main strength of
VS Code lies in the huge number of extensions available.
Most of the standalone dev tools I will cover in a later chapter also has an extension for VS Code as well.
This integrates them even better with the IDE.
Some useful extensions for php developers:
- PHP Intelephense by Ben Mewburn
- PHP Debug by Xdebug
- php cs fixer by junstyle
- phpcs by Ioannis Kappas
- Composer Companion by faelv
- Better PHPUnit by calebporzio
Please note, that some extensions need additional configuration to work correctly. Check their individual documentation if using them.
- Visual Studio Code
- PhpStorm, another great IDE, still the most popular one for PHP. Unfortunatelly it is not free.
It happens even to the best of us, that the code we write has some bugs. How to find and correct them the the easiest?