As a Drupal developer, even though you can use a simple text editor to create and edit your website's PHP code, wouldn't you rather use an application that's custom designed for developers, which can do things like on-the-fly error checking and integration with version control systems?
One tool that can do all of this is the PhpStorm integrated development environment (IDE) by JetBrains. Starting with PhpStorm 7, you can add a Drupal plugin to help you with your development needs.
PhpStorm's Drupal plugin includes several abilities, including the following:
- Provides Drupal hooks support (such as completion for hook declaration, navigation to hook invocations from the gutter, and quick documentation for hook declaration)
- Integrates with Drush
- Works with the drupal.org issue tracker for debugging and profiling
If you decide to use PhpStorm for your PHP development, here are some useful features we've encountered during our own coding:
- Do you need to inspect the method or function that you're calling? Simply press Ctrl+B. When you're done, press Alt+Shift+Left Arrow.
- To quickly find any item (including files, classes, functions, and methods), press Shift twice to display Search Everywhere.
- Assuming that you document your parameters and return values, PhpStorm provides warnings for several different types of issues, including missing methods, methods being called from the wrong scope, and the wrong variables being passed.
- You can configure PhpStorm to enforce Drupal coding standards, and we encourage you to do so (Project Settings > Code Style).
- If you are familiar with Vim, there is a plugin for Vim support.