I’m a creature of habit and been using Homesite for almost 10 years. I’ve finally decided to break the mold and make my development life easier and install the OpenSource development platform Eclipse.

Most PHP developers find it easiest to work with a running web server of their local machine. This allows you to test your work as you go, without having to upload it to a hosting environment. Therefore, I suggest you also install Apache, PHP, and (if you are using it), MySQL.

This step is required if you plan to use the php debugger. Together these tools are often referred to as AMP (or AMPP if you include Perl as well as PHP).

XAMPP is a software bundle which includes everything you need to install Apache/MySQL/PHP/Perl in one go. It’s available for Windows, Linux and Solaris.

Particularly on a Windows machine, this is definitely the fastest way to get up and running with these tools, as someone else has done the integration and configuration work for you.

Here are the steps to get your development environment up-and-running.

  1. Download and install Eclipse
  2. Download and install Java Runtime Environment (JRE)
  3. Download and install PHPEclipse (Preferred automated instructions below)
  4. Download and install XAMPP

An automated installation of PHPEclipse is available via the Eclipse Update Manager.

  1. Click on Help->Software Updates->Find/Install from file menu in Eclipse.
  2. Select the radio button labeled, “search for new features to install”.
  3. Click on the “New Remote Site” button.
  4. Enter a name, and the URL: http://phpeclipse.sourceforge.net/update/releases (stable)
  5. Click on “Finish”.
  6. A list of features will be presented, open the list and check the one labeled “phpeclipse”.
  7. Click on “Next”
  8. Follow the onscreen instructions to finish the automatic install.

The best overall instructions I used came from this wiki. I’d recommend walking through in detail and plan on taking 1-2 hours to get this fully installed. Good luck!

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