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Right now, we’re doing an in-depth review of the IDE Aptana. We’ve been looking for a potential replacement for Adobe’s Dreamweaver program that has better support for AJAX and Javascript. It really looks promising so far. It has a nice interface, seems easy to setup, etc. The things we’ve really liked so far are the {en:PHP} library plugin, the extensive {en:AJAX} support, and the price.

the PHP library plugin (free) opens up loads of abilities that Dreamweaver lacks. Aptana does a lot of things on the fly and, in regards to PHP, will show syntax errors as they occur, keeps a running list of all custom and non-custom variables used on in the script which it displays when you type a “$”, and adds some functionality with PHP objects and classes.

Aptana has a pretty large assortment of libraries to use when you want to incorporate the use of AJAX or {en:Javascript} in your scripts. We’re just beginning to explore the possibilities with this!

One of the more attractive things for small businesses such as ours has to be the price. Aptana is built on the open source project Eclipse, so Aptana offers an open source Community version for free. The Pro version (which adds a nice Internet Explorer Debugger among other things) is currently only $99.

Some other aspects of the Community version.

In all, we’re pretty excited about the potential this application offers to us. We’ve deployed the Community version to two users and hoping that it can do all it appears to be able to do!



  1. So how’s it coming? I’ve been curious the see the reactions of dreamweaver users before getting too serious with it.

  2. Good. So far, Aptana has been really useful for Ajax and JS work. The PHP side of things is ok, but lacks a lot of the application support (generated recordsets, etc) that DW has. For an advanced PHP programmer, Aptana would be great. For beginners or intermediates, not so much. The PHP debug feature is incredible, however.

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