Zend Studio for Eclipse, Take 1

Geek, PHP Development, Reviews 1 Comment »

Zend Studio for Eclipse has finally arrived! I’ve been waiting for this upgrade for years. Zend Studio, in its previous incarnation, was certainly no slouch of a product. I’ve been using it since version 4. Aside from various Java platform issues, their product was extremely stable and increased my productivity over using other less featured editors.

My experience with Eclipse began in college while taking advanced programming courses in Java. It was an amazing product back then, and has only grown better since. However, the marriage of Zend Studio to Eclipse has proven to be a bit of a disappointment. Perhaps it is because I’m too used to the way that Studio 5.5 works and need to shift my IDE paradigm back to Eclipse. Maybe it’s the difference in how the system is configured by the preferences. Either way, it will take a bit of time to get used to and that’s just not something that I can afford at my job right now. Using Studio for Eclipse will have to be a weekend project to slowly ween myself off of 5.5 and learn how to manipulate Eclipse to assist, rather than hinder, my development.

One of the major pieces of integration that I’m interested in the new version of Studio is how well it handles remote files. My current development process requires that I use ssh/sftp to open and save files to a remote file system. In Zend Studio Neon (their beta version of the Eclipse integration, as well as in Eclipse in general), remote filesystem access was still a bit lacking and buggy. At first glance, it seems as if they have figured this out in Studio for Eclipse. However, I’m running into issues building the workspace through the remote filesystem. It’s slow and bogs down the Java process so I can’t develop while it’s building. I tried, heaven help me, to stop the build process, which locked up Studio, and now I can’t seem to open Zend Studio for Eclipse at all.

As for right now, I’m going to uninstall it and try re-installing over the weekend and playing around a bit more. They may call it Studio 6.0.0 — however, I think I need to treat this as a 1.0 release. Overall, I don’t think this release will be stable enough for me to use until a few more rounds of bug fixes, but I certainly like the direction that the platform is heading.

Multiple Computer and Screen Utilities

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Both at home and at my job I utilize multiple computer systems, and now that I’m a Mac owner, it usually spans different operating systems. Here are a few utilities that I employ to assist in managing these computers.

  • Synergy – (Cross Platform) This is quite possibly the most useful tool that I have found. It simply shares the keyboard and mouse on a system that you designate a server to any number of client systems. This is not a KVM, as each system requires its own monitor system. However, with Synergy and a fairly simple configuration, your mouse will flow from one system to another as if you’re using a single computer. In addition, the clipboard is shared between systems. Setup can be a bit tricky on non-windows machines, but binaries are available for Windows, OS X and Linux.
  • UltraMon – (Windows) Ok, so you’ve got two monitors, and finally have the screen real estate to have many windows open in an order that you can create a comfortable work flow. Yet, all of your windows are stuffed onto your main screen task bar. Enter UltraMon. With this handy utility you can expand your task bar across multiple screens; tasks that are on screen 1 are on screen 1’s task bar, tasks on screen 2 on screen 2’s task bar. Aside from these great features, it also has other useful multiple monitor utilities. This is quite a great piece of software, and I highly recommend purchase of this product.
  • Foxmarks – (Firefox Plugin, cross platform) Within the course of a day, I can use up to 4 distinct copies of Firefox. Two on my laptop (OS X and Windows XP in a virtual machine), my office desktop (OS X) and my home desktop (Windows XP). FoxMarks helps to bridge that gap by providing a easy and transparent way to sync bookmarks between copies of Firefox.
  • LineIn (OS X) As documented by my post here on the trials and tribulations of moving sound between computers, LineIn is a great (and free) utility to enable line in monitoring on a Mac. Aside from the freebies on the same page as LineIn, Rogue Amoeba also provides other OS X based audio software to check out.

These tools help make my daily interaction with computers a bit easier, and I hope they’ll help other as well! If you know of other tools in the same vein, feel free to leave a comment or contact me.

Making friends, Web 2.0 style

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Though it may be Dan‘s resolution to blog everyday, it’s certainly not mine, so I’ll let his post (mostly) speak for itself. I will add that we do share similar interests: We’re Buzz Out Loud listeners, work in the tech industry, were brought into the Mac world by the companies that we work for. It’s all quite interesting, although if there’s any place it would happen, it would be in San Francisco.

Read on, here!


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