Eclipse adds PHP tools to open-source lineup

Eclipse adds PHP tools to open-source lineup

The Eclipse Foundation Tuesday will announce the availability of a set of tools that can be used to support developers using the dynamic PHP language to build Web applications.

The Eclipse PHP Development Tools (PDT) project aims to expand the reach of the open source Eclipse tools beyond the Java and C/C ++ community of developers, noted Ian Skerrett, Eclipse's director of marketing. He estimated that there are 4.5 million PHP developers worldwide.

"This really is the first time we have a concrete offering for them," he said. "This is a great way of expanding the Eclipse community. There is a lot of synergy for developers using more than one language to build Web applications. Now [developers] have one development environment to be able to do that."

In addition, because PDT is built on the Eclipse development platform, PHP developers can gain access to more than 1,400 Eclipse-based plug-in tools, he said.

PDT 1.0 includes context sensitive editors for syntax highlighting and code folding, and support for incremental debugging of PHP code, Eclipse said. The tool also includes many APIs and frameworks for developers and ISVs to extend PDT to create new PHP developer tools, Skerrett added.

Dynamic languages such as PHP are attractive to application development professionals because they are flexible, ease integration tasks, are easy to learn, and improve cycle times, said Jeffrey Hammond, a Forrester Research analyst, in a statement.

"The announcement of PDT is an important step forward for the PHP ecosystem, because mature, industry standard development tools are an important prerequisite for commercial success of the language," he added.

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