Issue #379 (CodeLobster Review, CSS/HTML, Build, Git/CLI)10/22/20
The following intro is a paid product review for CodeLobster, a free cross-platform IDE for PHP, HTML, CSS, and JS development.
There's no question that over the years a few major players have taken control of the code editor and IDE market, and it's likely at this point you've settled on one. But I'm a strong believer in developers getting accustomed to using two or three different IDEs or editors, even if a single app is their daily choice. Let's take a closer look at one you may not have tried: CodeLobster.
CodeLobster, available on Windows, Mac, and Linux, has been on the scene since 2005 and still receives regular updates, the most recent release being in September of this year. It supports a number of interface languages including English, German, French, Chinese, Japanese, and Russian.
CodeLobster includes most of the features of other popular IDEs, for example autocomplete for CSS properties and property values:
CodeLobster's Autocomplete feature for CSS
As well as autocomplete for HTML attributes:
The autcomplete feature for HTML's input element
CodeLobster also offers advanced autocomplete and debugging features for PHP development. The breakpoint feature, illustrated below, is one of a number of PHP debugging features available.
Adding breakpoints in the left margin for debugging
Other debugging features include:
- Tooltips for reviewing variables on the fly while working with breakpoints
- A "Locals" panel for showing the values and types for Global and Local variables (which also includes array and object inspection)
- A panel for examining the call stack during debugging
When writing CSS, one feature I like is the ability to view browser support for a particular feature instantly by mousing over it:
Instant info on CSS features on mouse over
You can also use the "Context Help" menu that appears for specific language features in HTML, CSS, MySQL, and PHP:
The Context Help option for PHP, MySQL, and HTML/CSS/JS
In the above screenshot the "Context Help" option will take me to MDN's article on the CSS content property. You can customize which documentation you want to point to (e.g. W3C vs. MDN) for the front-end features.
CodeLobster offers a number of plugins for framework support
These plugins offer specialized auto-complete features, context help, tooltip help, ability to install the framework, and more. All of this can make it much easier to work with some of the most popular front-end and back-end tools in the industry.
Overall, CodeLobster is a solid feature-rich IDE that includes a number of advanced features I haven't touched on here: SQL management, Integration with version control tools (e.g. Git, SVN), code validation, Node.js support, and more.
You can download CodeLobster to use it free indefinitely and you have the option to upgrade to the Pro version to get all the extra features.
Now on to this week's tools!