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If You Have the Means, Get Netbeans

The deeper I get into Drupal development, the more I depend on developer tools like code searching, debugging, code syntax highlighting, etc. Drupal is an amazing tool for developing websites, but unlike most custom scripting language sites - you're navigating a framework, which can be quite baffling at times. Knowing how to navigate your way around Drupal's infrastructure is critical if you have any hope of figuring out why that one scripted menu isn't appearing or why your custom form field values aren't getting to your submit handler. Here at Ashday, we've embraced Netbeans as a critical piece to our development process with Drupal. It's an IDE with really rich PHP support and hooks nicely into xDebug for debugging purposes and very cleanly lets you navigate your code in intelligent ways. For example, you can simply right click on a function to find it's usages or conversely, click on a function call and find its declaration. It also makes it very easy to know the state of your local and global variables at any stage of execution so you can find out exactly what's going on.

So anyways, if you're a Drupal developer looking for a better workflow, you might give Netbeans a try! And I haven't even mentioned yet that Netbeans is completely free and you can install plug-ins to make it work with SASS files, GIT repositories, CSS 3, HTML 5, etc, etc, etc...

Clint Randall

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