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Chris Hartjes' Blog:
How the Testing Sausage Gets Made
May 17, 2012 @ 09:19:33

For those either just getting into unit testing your applications (maybe even TDD) or those that are old hat at it and what to figure out a few more tricks of the trade, you should check out this latest post from Chris Hartjes about some of the tools he uses to get the job done.

So how does the Grumpy Programmer write code, TDD style? It starts with using a set of tools that reduce the amount of friction required. First, I do almost all my work from a terminal. [...] Why the terminal? PHPUnit is a CLI application. Yes, many popular editors and IDE's can do things like execute PHPUnit for you, but they are limited in what flexibility they provide.

He also talks about his editor of choice, vim, and some of the plugins he uses in his day to day testing development. This includes tools to handle things like interfacing with git/gists, working with ctags to see the code's structure, working with "surroundings" and the pathogen plugin to make adding other plugins easier. He keeps the code up in one terminal and his testing tool (PHPUnit or other) accessible in a second, making it a simple matter of switching to write the test then the functionality to make it pass.

If there is a lesson to be learned from this, it's to make sure that every tool that you use reduces the friction that is generated when building your application using TDD.
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DZone.com:
2 years of Vim and PHP distilled
April 06, 2012 @ 09:50:35

On DZone.com there's a new post from Giorgio Sironi with some of his tips for PHP developers that want to use VIM in their development - some handy tricks to help make you a more effective developer.

In the case of PHP development, you'll need to add some configuration and plugins to speed up your activities. Most of the responsibilities of an IDE - like testing and version control - are outsourced to the terminal while running Vim; however, there are some tweaks that make writing and editing code faster, along with aiding in discovery classes and methods in a PHP codebase.

He includes settings for your .vimrc to detect and load the right PHP functionality, using Command-T, functionality for autocompletion and the snipMate plugin for managing and using reusable code snippets.

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Thijs Lensselink's Blog:
VIM for a PHP Developer
April 18, 2011 @ 10:57:17

Thijs Lensselink has a new post to his blog today showing a step-by-step guide to setting up a vim editor environment to provide a richer experience than the plain-text defaults for working with your PHP code.

For my coding work i mostly use Zend Studio. And i am a big fan of this IDE. But i also do a lot of work in the shell. And that asks for at least basic vim knowledge. My colleague is a big vim fan. And does most of his work in vim. So last week i was compiling a cheat-sheet for my self. And came across a slideshow of one of Andrei Zmievski's talks. This slide show got me inspired enough to start playing around with vim a bit. And this is the result of it.

He walks you through everything from scratch - installing vim, setting up some of the configuration files, grabbing some plugins to help with highlighting, adding in ctags for code completion and a plugin to give the editor more of an "IDE feel". There's a few screenshots included in the post as well, so you can be sure your environment is looking the same as his.

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vim editor plugin guide screenshot configuration


Gonzalo Ayuso's Blog:
My VIM configuration for PHP development
January 03, 2011 @ 13:50:35

In a search for his perfect development environment (note "his" not "the") Gonzalo Ayuso has taken another look at vim in a new post to his blog with some handy plugins and commands he's found so far.

Keeping on with my continuous search for the perfect IDE I've resumed my fight against VIM. As someone told me the learning of vim is a road of pain. It's something like going to the gym. We known that going to the gym is good and healthy but it's hard and painfully especially at the beginning. The learning curve of vim is hard. [...] VIM is not my default IDE yet. I hope to swap to VIM soon but I feel myself slower when I code comparing with Netbeans or ZendStudio, and slow means less productive but I also feel if invest more time vim can be really productive.

He points out these plugins and commands:

  • NerdTree
  • the "buffer explorer"
  • using Zen Coding
  • using the debugger (along with XDebug)
  • snipMate
  • using omni completion
  • supertab
  • and a few more various, useful commands...
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PHPBuilder.com:
Using Vim for Your PHP Development
September 23, 2010 @ 09:13:07

On PHPBuilder.com today Jason Gilmore has an introductory tutorial to using the popular vim editor for your PHP development with more that just the basic features.

When you choose a streamlined IDE, you forfeit the visual bells and whistles usually found in many commercial products but you gain the ability to write, organize and refactor code as quickly as you can type. For millions of developers around the globe, that IDE is Vim, and in this article I'll show you how Vim can help you to write PHP code faster than ever before.

He starts with the basics - what vim is and how to start it up - and shows how you can use the command-line inside of the editor to do things like a simple search and replace. He also shows how to edit multiple files, set up PHP command completion and how to use the Project plugin to make it easier to find files without having to leave the editor.

If you're looking for more detailed information on using vim in your development, check out this presentation from Andrei Zmievski or these tips from Matthew Weier O'Phinney.

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vim development editor introduction


Web Builder Zone:
NetBeans vs. Vim for PHP development
August 30, 2010 @ 08:56:18

On the Web Builder Zone there's a recent article comparing one of the PHP IDEs growing in popularity, NetBeans, and one of the standbys of the development world, Vim. It compares how they both stack up for PHP development work by things like features, speed and ease of use.

Since this is an old religion war and it can't be solved out of context, my points will be specifically related to these programs. In this comparison, I collected examples of where Vim and NetBeans differ in behavior and performance. The point of view is that of a PHP developer, since I experienced much worse results with Unix tools while programming in other languages such as Java.

He compares them on a few different levels including overall speed, autocompletion, portability, ease of use, codebase navigation and versatility. There's no "better than" judgment here, just a good look at what each tool has to offer. What it really boils down to, of course, is personal preference. These are just two of the many possibilities out there (like PHP Storm, Eclipse PDT or Zend Studio).

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PHPFreak.dk:
The quest for the holy... development environment?!
April 26, 2010 @ 12:05:07

On the PHPFreak.de blog there's a new post talking about the author's quest to find the "holy development environment", the one that would make a developer most productive and give them the best features to do their work.

Over the last 8 years I've tried out a lot of different setups. I've always loved Emacs, and for many years my setup was very basic: Linux/FreeBSD desktop, Fluxbox, Xterm, Emacs and Firefox - simple and powerful, and I loved it but I want more. I want my environment to be a bit smarter and not just provide me with some (very, very nice) shortcuts for navigating my code.

He looks at a few other tools and how they compare to what he's used to - VIM, NetBeans, Eclipse PDT - and decides that there's not a clear winner between them and that really, it boils down to two things: what your preference is and what quirks you can deal with on a daily basis.

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Tobias Schlitt's Blog:
PDV -> VIP, now on github!
February 16, 2010 @ 09:17:02

Tobias Schlitt has a quick post to his blog about the release of the phpDocumentor for VIM project he's been working on over to github.

phpDocumentor for VIM (PDV) is a project which resulted from my efforts to create a comfortable programming environment for PHP in the VIM editor. Since the server which hosted the SVN repository is to be switched off the next days, I finally moved development over to github. In addition to that, I seized the chance to rename the project itself to VIP (VIM integration for PHP).

There's a few other goodies in the repository besides just the VIP tool. You can grab some (or all) of the code by following the instructions given on the github page.

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pdv vip phpdocumentor vim editor github


Hannes Magnusson's Blog:
Unix manual pages for PHP functions
January 05, 2010 @ 11:06:06

Hannes Magnusson has a new post today about an interesting feature of the PHP documentation some might not have known existed - manual pages (man) for PHP functions/methods for unix systems.

For a while I had vim configured to run reflection when I hit "K", but after the PHP documentation team released unix manual pages for PHP I now get the manual page in all its glory; function description, parameter descriptions, return values, examples, notes, see also and everything you are used to see from the online manual. Its awesome.

These manual pages aren't installed by default, so you'll have to grab the download from the PEAR channel for the PHP documentation (doc.php.net/pman). If you're wanting to use it in VIM, you'll also need to change the keywordprg setting to "pman".

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Quinton Parker's Blog:
vim tips for php programmers
February 05, 2009 @ 08:43:44

In a new post to his blog Quinton Parker shares a few tips for those PHP developers out there using vim as their editor of choice.

VIM is a powerful command-line text editor usually a default package in the majority of *nix distros (that includes Mac's OS X). I believe there are ports available for other OSes, even winblows. Firstly, vim is a man's editor. Whiners and GUI lovers can stop reading now. Although, VIM offer GUI ports such as MacVim. Men with thick beards, please stay tuned.

He starts with a bit of comparison between opinions on IDE versus editor and comments from others on both sides of the vim argument. Then he gets to the tips - here's a list of some of them:

  • Syntax highlighting
  • Tabs as spaces
  • Search and show matches as you type
  • PHP-specific highlighting
  • Highlighting matching brackets/parentheses
  • Auto change to to editing file's cwd
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