It’s been a short stay for Eclipse. After I fell in love with using an IDE for my PHP development, I wanted more. I happened to cross some blog posts on Symfony and Symfony 2 (check it out, it’s awesome, but unfortunately not ready for production yet). And started wondering what IDE the Symfony developers use..

It turns out that Netbeans 6.9 has integrated Symfony support and a few other advantages over Eclipse:

  • Run Symfony commands through the IDE. (richt-click your project and find Symfony > Run Command)
  • Intergrated xdebug to run with Symfony
  • Small but convenient button to view the correct page in your web browser.
  • Better support for code completion on complicated objects (such as symfony core and doctrine)
  • Automatically hides the cache directory (can be turned off)
  • You can create a specific new ‘Symfony Project’ to skip some steps you’d normally do in your command prompt.
  • YAML support (never worry about using TAB again)

But where there’s advantages there’s also some things I like better in Eclipse, like the PHPDoc generation (Now you have to type /** and press ENTER to generate it automatically) and the auto-completion of html tags and quotes, which feels more natural in Eclipse (for someone like me who is used to type everything himself).

All said I’d recommend Netbeans for any Symfony user. But if you don’t use Symfony I’d say that it’s just a matter of taste. The differences are minor and both can be accustomed to. Try it for yourself!