IDE needed to Hack on PHP (not with PHP)

A piece I’m writing for IBM developerWorks has turned into the article that ate Pittsburgh. Trying to understand and document a certain class keeps leading me deeper into PHP internals, and is revealing some bugs in a certain PHP extension bundled with PHP 5.1 and later. Naturally I want to fix these.

However it’s all C code, and I haven’t done any serious C work in 15 years. (I did write some C++ about eight years ago, but this is straight C, not C++.)

What IDE are folks using on the Mac (or alternately Linux) to hack PHP itself? Xcode? Eclipse with the C development tools installed? Something else? This is just a short quick open source patch project (I hope) so I’d prefer not to pay multiple hundreds of dollars; just use the simplest, quickest thing that will get the job done.

I could use a raw text editor and gcc; but I don’t really know the PHP code base, and so I’d like an editor that allows me to click on a function name or macro name and jump straight to its definition. For instance, I’m encountering things like macros named RETURN_TRUE inside void methods. What the heck is that doing?

3 Responses to “IDE needed to Hack on PHP (not with PHP)”

  1. Antonio Says:

    I was wondering if the recently released NetBeans C/C++ Pack could be of help. I assume this is somewhat a port of the (old and excellent) Sun Studio (for C/C++) to NetBeans. Sun Studio used to be a great IDE for C/C++…

    If you the NetBeans C/C++ Pack a try, would you please post your experiences?


  2. Slava Pestov Says:

    I don’t know about you, but large C codebases fill me with dread…

  3. Slava Pestov Says:

    PS: I like it how the Amazon ad on this page lists a book titled “C traps and pitfalls”. You might need that one ;-)

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