Michael Spector talks about PDT 2.1 and PHP 5.3
The Eclipse PHP Development Tools (PDT), among the most popular Eclipse projects, have reached a high level of maturity with the latest release 2.1. Michael Spector explains what´s new in the Galileo version of PDT and what we can expect in future releases.
JAXenter: Hi Michael. Can you describe the Eclipse PDT Project in a few words?
Michael Spector: We follow two objectives while developing PDT. First, provide PHP developers with all capabilities needed for their day-to-day work. Second, continue promoting Eclipse ecosystem by leveraging other projects to offer a good platform for PDT extenders.
JAXenter: What´s new in the Galileo Version of PDT?
Michael Spector: First of all, it is PHP 5.3 support; Eclipse PDT is the first PHP IDE ever to support PHP 5.3. And, of course, there are numerous bug fixes since 2.0.0 release, which itself was a major step towards maturity of the project in terms of features and platform capabilities.
JAXenter: Why should a PHP-Developer use PDT and not another IDE?
Michael Spector: A Project being developed under the Eclipse aegis has obvious advantages over others:
1. It is closely monitored and the Eclipse Foundation keeps an eye on that.
2. It must follow strict standards in order to participate in Eclipse simultaneous release.
3. Due to the Eclipse nature you can add any other Eclipse plug-in to your IDE installation that gives you tremendous flexibility.
As for PDT specifically, most of the PDT developers are from Zend Technologies – a leading PHP company. All of them have had many years of experience working with (and for) the PHP community.
JAXenter: Where do you see PDT in one year? How will the project evolve after Galileo?
Michael Spector: There are a lot of things to do. Improve the type inference mechanism that represents a base for all sophisticated features like Code Assist, Smart Navigation, Mark Occurrences, Refactoring, etc. by analyzing a PHP code in a static way. Improve the underlying DLTK (Dynamic Languages Toolkit is one of projects that PDT is based on) indexing infrastructure to better perform on a dynamic language like PHP (yes, our scope is broader than just PDT project). Integrate with more Eclipse plug-ins – Mylyn bridge for PDT already awaits its hour in the CVS repository. And, of course, listen to the community – there are more than hundred enhancement requests in the Eclipse bug tracking system.
JAXenter: Thank you very much for this conversation!
Michael Spector is graduated with a bachelor of computer science from Bar-Ilan University. Michael works at Zend Technologies as Software Architect in the Development Tools group. He started participating in the PDT project from its first submission in 2006.