Mar 3, 2009

Komodo IDE becomes even more friendly!

Komodo IDE is one of my favorite PHP IDEs for the TYPO3 extension development. In fact, if Komodo they had the following two features, they would be my favorite:
  • Ctrl+click should open the method or variable declaration
  • variable and method hinting while I type (I type t3lib_div:: and the IDE pops up a function selector list)
The second feature exists but it is not fully working. Sometimes it misses to determine the right context. But if it works, it works faster than the same feature in Zend Studio.
Today I got an automatic e-mail saying that my feature request for Ctrl+click is solved. This brings Komodo IDE much closer to the level I want. When the new version is out, I will test it and probably ditch Zend Studio forever.
If you never saw Komodo IDE, here is a screenshot (click for the full size image):

Why do I like Komodo IDE more than Zend Studio?

There are several features in Komodo IDE that make it better for me than Zend Studio:
  • Speed. Komodo IDE speed is fantastic! It does absolutely everything much faster than Zend Studio. I found that only Mac TextEdit (the analog of Windows Notepad) is faster than Komodo IDE. But Komodo IDE does much more than TextEdit!
  • Cross–platform. If I need to move my project to some other platform, there is no problem. I can use Komodo IDE on any platform!
  • Debugging with XDebug. XDebug is a really great debugger. It is fast, small and efficient.
  • Debug live sites. This is due to the XDebug. Zend Studio and Zend debugger stops the whole server if I debug that server. The site just hangs. XDebug allows parallel sessions and performance of the site is not affected.
  • Variables are available for the whole debug stack. This is missing and it really hurts in Zend Studio. If I need to check whey I got to the current method, I need to examine variables on the previous level. It is not possible with Zend products but works perfectly with Komodo IDE and XDebug.
  • Small but important issue: Zend never was able to sort variables alphabetically in the 'Variables' view. Imagine searching a variable if there are 50 of them and they are not sorted. Komodo rocks! They sort variables by name.
  • A fantastic regular expression toolkit ('Rx toolkit'). I just love it! There is no other tool that is anywhere close. With regular expression builder I can quickly type and test regular expressions. It supports various of syntaxes and can test for 'match', 'match all' and 'replace'. When the expression is test, I copy/paster it to PHP and it always works. Here is a screenshot (click for the full size image):
  • Komodo IDE sees file changes immediately. It happens so that I have TYPO3 cores separately and only link t3lib/ and typo3/ to my project directory. This helps me to update the TYPO3 core from SVN easily or change cores if necessary. If I do this, Zend Studio cannot open files anymore. It shows me an exception. This is oldest and nastiest Eclipse problem. I always hated it. No such problem with Komodo IDE! It sees the file immediately. I am not interrupted when I work with Komodo IDE. I focus on the work, not on Eclipse internal issues with files. Komodo IDE is great in keeping my focus on the task!
  • Much better CSS and JavaScript editor. Zend Studio sucks when it comes to CSS and JavaScript. In Zend Studio it is just a text editor with some highlighting. In Komodo IDE it is autocomplete with fast and accurate syntax validation. Komodo IDE even suggests me that the declaration is not valid in the current context. It is very essential for me! It saves me time that I would spend hunting down why that CSS declaration does not work. Bravo, Komodo IDE!
  • Zend support sucks. They never treat customers seriously. Even if I give them the video and detailed precise information about the problem, they keep telling me to create a new workspace (and loose all my customization, yeah???). They do not really provide solutions or solve the problems in most cases. For example, it took them a year to solve the problem with extrememly slow debugging. And that happend only after many people started to move away from their product and saying it aloud.
  • Komodo support rocks! As I wrote once, I posted a feautre request to the and got a positive response very fast. At the same moment they created a test case and attached it to the bug report. It was cool. I never saw such a fast reaction time from the commercial product. These guys know how to do business!
I can't wait until a new version of Komodo IDE is out. I have commercial licenses for both Zend Studio and Komodo IDE. Now I think about dropping Zend Studio completely. Some time ago I got an e–mail from Zend asking to review my support subscription for some huge amount of money (they called it 'A discount for your region'). This e–mail went straight to the Trash folder.
I love the Komodo IDE!


  1. Did you try NetBeans 6.5 ? I've tried along the times Komodo, Zend Studio, Eclipse and Netbeans and in my opinion Netbeans is the most powerful (at least for my needs) and its also free.

  2. I did not try Netbeans yet :) It is new, so I expect it will have bugs. I'll try it in some months, when they release updates.

  3. Seems you are not quite happy with Zend. Should I ask you what do you think about ZendFramework or you are using only typo3?


    Thanks for the suggestion of NetBeans. I just installed it and I love it. Komodo was a bit pricey for my basic needs.

  4. I do not user Zend Framework. I had to select one of the existing frameworks for non–TYPO3 project. After evaluation I ended up on CakePHP. It was the best in many ways (including performance) and easiest to learn. Zend framework has performance problems as far as I know.

  5. Hi Dmitry,

    after reading this article I installed Komodo IDE on my Intel OSX. Installation process went ok but the IDE is extremely slow. For 1 opened file, 5000 lines of PHP, it takes 3 seconds for a character to display on screen after I pressed the key on my keyboard.

    I'm using the x86 version (I checked) and Komodo Edit seems to suffer from the same problem.

    I even tried to unactivate all the unnecessary extensions for me (even the 'code-intelligence' feature), and it was not better.

    I would have liked to give it a try, but in this conditions I can't. Thanks anyway for the article !

    1. What on earth are you running on, a Commodore 64? I know this is a few years later, but I've been using Komodo since ... years! The only time it's ever slow is after a version upgrade when ti first builds its intellisense libraries, but after that, it's butter. And if you read even a little of the docs, you'd know it's slow at first, because it does a lot of work to "set-up" even after installed. Try it again, 8.0 is awesome! Just bear with the first 10 minutes or so of it updating its libraries and then press on. It gets better FAST. And it's FAST! It is the fastest IDE I've ever seen in the last 2 years (i've used them all at various jobs) in terms of both coding and DataBase Connections for easy DB management. Not to mention the ToolBox feature it has these days makes it very easy to write new pages of code based on templates in just minutes. Plus you can store your own templates and snippets for things you use regularly on different projects! I have literally used EVERY SINGLE IDE IN THE PAST 2 YEARS, and I have to say, KOMODO IDE IS THE FASTEST, SMARTEST, and HAS THE BEST SUPPORT for when something is wrong!

    2. Have a look to the date of this post :) It is older than you use IDEs.

  6. This is really strange. It is extremely fast here. I do not know what can be the cause of it in your case :(

  7. Jerome, it seems that Komodo on some macs has a speed issue and you are not the only one affected. The solution for me was to turn off all the add-ons i did not need. You can try that or download the 5.1 alpha to see if that version works any faster.

  8. Sridhar RatnakumarMarch 14, 2009 at 7:10 AM

    > Ctrl+click should open the method or variable declaration

    This is now supported in the beta release that was released today.

  9. netbeans blows. it's java based and super slow.

  10. Just to ask for help, do any of Zend / Komodo can generate wsdl for a SOAP? Based on a class for example ...

    Thanks in advance