Posted by: phillipnb | November 1, 2012

Evaluating codeLobster – A PHP IDE

This is November 2012 – Let us take a break from book reviews. This month, instead we will have a product review. We will review a PHP ide/editor called CodeLobster.

The first thing that comes to a user’s mind about an editor is the look and feel. CodeLobster does have a good look and feel. According to CodeLobster site, it is not just an editor, it is a set of handy tools. The basic version is free while you need to pay for the professional version.

While I have tested several editors for php development in the past, I somehow missed CodeLobster. Well I do have a lazy excuse for this – My colleagues, boss etc preferred another editor and that made it easy for me to collaborate with them by using that particular editor.

Anyway, Code Lobster is a different animal because it has support for HTML, Javascript, CSS and PHP. One cannot find another editor that supports so many languages and scripts, that is why I said it is a different animal. In addition, it also supports a number of PHP frameworks like CakePHP, CodeIgniter,Drupal etc etc. It also has plugins for JQuery and WordPress – What more can a person doing PHP development ask for?. Honestly, I have not seen another editor for PHP that supports so many frameworks.

I am not going to dissect this editor because there are plenty of reviews on web that has analysed every little functionality in CodeLobster. But there are a few things worth mentioning which not many other editors have:

  • This editor has a very good debugger.
  • Has an edit feature that has the ability to go to a definition or to a file.
  • Ability to view the output in three popular browsers (IE,FF and Chrome) – Voila!, is n’t that great?.
  • It is extremely stable. I did not experience a single software/application crash so far.

Finally, what is this editor lacking? What is that something more that I would like to see in this editor? Here is my wish list:

  • Support for comparing two files. During development, there are instances where we need to compare two versions of the same file and most editors do not have a support for this.
  • The other wish that I have is – Ability to integrate with a source control software like Tortoise SVN. I have not seen popular editors supporting this. Right now, to check in to a source control server and check out from the server is a tedious process. It will be great if CodeLobster could simplify this with a few clicks.

Overall, CodeLobster for PHP is a great editor, a fantastic editor. I would recommend this editor both to beginners as well as to experienced developers – Go for it.



  1. Codelobster has support for Tortoise SVN:

    I have not tried it though. I was actually searching for a way to use it when I find this post.

    • Thanks Temiayo for pointing out that Codelobster supports Tortoise SVN. Regarding your concern about using Codelobster – there is already a codelobster documentation. In addition there are plenty of blogs/sites about how to use codelobster.

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