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NetBeans helps web developers make better websites, more productively and less expensively

So you’ve probably heard of Dreamweaver and you might think it’s the best tool for producing websites, and in many respects it’s great. The multi-line search and replace is almost worth the price along. But if you’re doing serious coding in a language other than HTML and CSS, it really sucks quite badly. Why? Simply put, Dreamweaver’s code-completion in JavaScript and PHP is pretty non-existant. Why does this matter? Code-completion means the developer spends less time wondering what the hell a particular Method is named in a Class, and just get on with the important bit of thinking what he want’s the code to do. If you’re writing your own custom Classes, NetBeans has excellent support for PHPDocumenter, so as long as you make sure to document your Methods correctly, you can just pull up a nice list of all the Methods an object supports, with all the arguments nicely explained on the Method.

It also integrated nicely with XDebug, so you can do proper line by line debugging, rather than just echoing statements back to the screen, proper project support, the ability to define time-saving macros, plus excellent HTML and CSS code completion tools as well. And in my experience it’s much much quicker compared to Eclipse based tools like Zend Studio or PDT. It’s the closest I’ve found to Microsoft’s Visual Studio IDE that runs on the LAMP development stack.

So why should a little ol’ Web Developer near Bath need such things? Why not stick with Dreamweaver? Well, it’s free, it’s cross-platform and it lets me create Web-sites more quickly and easily for my clients. And they like cheap, effective web sites.

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