The PHP IDE Project is a proposed open-source project under the Eclipse Tools Project. This document describes the content and the scope of the proposed project.


PHP started as an open source project about 10 years ago. During the last 10 years, PHP has gained significant momentum with now more than 23 million Web domains running PHP. PHP�s simplicity and low cost of ownership have all contributed to the fast and wide adoption of the language. PHP has now reached the point of maturity where organizations are seeking standard tools and solutions that will further facilitate application development with PHP.

Project Goal

The PHP IDE project will deliver a PHP Integrated Development Environment framework for the Eclipse platform. This project will encompass the development components necessary to develop PHP-based Web Applications and will facilitate extensibility. It will leverage the existing Web Tools Project in providing developers with PHP capabilities.

Project Scope

The project will contribute an initial set of Eclipse plug-ins that will add PHP IDE capabilities to Eclipse, and will provide APIs to further extend the functionality of the project. The project will be composed of a set of extensible features covering the development life cycle of PHP including functionality that deals with developing, deploying, documenting, debugging and testing PHP-based applications.

The next section describes in detail the design, features and extension points needed in order to provide a comprehensive IDE.

Project Description

Functional Requirements

The PHP IDE Project will include the following components:


The PHP IDE Core provides the infrastructure for the PHP IDE and includes:

  • PHP Language Model – provides infrastructure for the PHP language and the most popular extensions. This Core component is the basis of all PHP language classes, functions and constants and it will support both PHP 4 and PHP 5. The two PHP major versions support will affect the code assist, syntax coloring and PHP Functions view.
  • PHP Inspector / Code Builder – analyzes PHP language elements such as: classes, functions, constants, variables, include statements, PHPDoc blocks and errors. The PHP Inspector component is based on the PHP language Lexer and Parser and provides analysis for all PHP source code in either PHP 4 or PHP 5.
  • PHPDoc Support – provides infrastructure that helps overcome some of the PHP language complexities. It adds capabilities to the PHP Language model and the PHP Inspector.
  • PHP User Model – provides an API for navigating through PHP inspected data (PHP classes, functions, constants, variables and include statements). Used by the search engine, Code Assist and PHP Explorer View.
  • PHP Source Code Formatter – Format PHP code according to personal preferences. The tool works in tandem with the Web Tools Project formatter.


The PHP IDE UI provides the user interface for the PHP IDE. It includes several contributions to the Eclipse workbench:

  • PHP Editor � The PHP Editor is built over the Web Tools Structured Editor and should inherit all its capabilities and actions. The PHP as a Structured Editor allows working on more then one programming language at the same time. All features in the PHP Editor support both PHP 4 and PHP 5.
  • PHP Outline View � Supports two types of Outline Views:
    • PHP specific – shows the structure of an inspected PHP file (classes, functions, variables, include files and constants).
    • Generic web view – shows an HTML structural View � inherited from the Web Tools Project.
  • Project Outline View – Very similar to the Outline View except that it shows the structure of an entire PHP Project.
  • PHP Explorer View – PHP element hierarchy of the PHP projects in the workbench. It provides a PHP specific view of the resources shown in the Navigator.
  • PHP Language View – A graphical representation of the PHP language Model.
  • PHP Manual View – An offline view of the official PHP Manual (

The UI will also provide the following functionalities:

  • PHP Searching � Integrated in the Eclipse workbench�s search dialog, finds declarations of PHP classes, functions, constants and variables.
  • Open PHP Type Dialog – Similar to JDT�s open Type dialog, the PHP open type dialog will show all PHP types in the workspace in order to open the selected type in the Editor.


The PHP IDE debug provides the infrastructure for PHP debugging, implemented on top of the debug model provided by the Eclipse Platform Debugger and on top of the Web Tools Projects. The PHP IDE will support both types of PHP Servers: PHP local web server and PHP executable. The debug protocol is based on Zend Studio�s debug protocol with extension points for new protocol messages.

Debug Perspective

The Debug Perspective will be based on the Eclipse Debug Perspective with compliance to the relevant PHP Debug actions. The perspective will contain the standard debug views.

Debug Preview

The Preview view will display what will be rendered on the browser as a result of processing the PHP file that is being edited. This will be part of a Multi-Page Editor, which will contain a Source page and a Preview page aggregated in a Tabbed Container.

Download Links

Windows 32-bit
Windows 64-bit
Mac OS X(Cocoa 32)
Mac OS X(Cocoa 64)
Linux 32-bit
Linux 64-bit

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