Today I did something I wanted to do for a long time: to throw away Eclipse. I’ve been using Eclipse for PHP development for some time now, and it always didn’t really feel good. It was a constant pain in the ass. And a few times, it really seemed to fail to do what it should do: work!

The irritation always started right away: if you want to use Eclipse, it first has a load screen, that needs about 20 seconds to load your workspace. But then it isn’t over yet. It still needs to process all your projects before you can actually start using it. Ok, you could do some work while it was loading your projects, but it was awfully slow during that times.

After a while, when it was loaded, you could start programming. Great, but there were some general annoyances. First of all, autocompletion, I loved the feature. But the problem was, that when I typed a bit of text, and hit <Ctrl>-Space, it took a while before Eclipse brought up the autocompletion. Another very annoying thing, is that it sometimes had random slowdowns. You would type some stuff, and then you had to wait 30 seconds, and then you slowly saw your text being printed to the screen, character by character. In the meanwhile, I already saved the file and switched to Firefox to test my changes. Obviously, the changes didn’t work, because eclipse didn’t quite manage to save the file yet.

So, a while ago, somebody said that the PHP plugin for NetBeans was a lot better. So I tried NetBeans. But after a ‘sudo apt-get install netbeans’, there was one obvious (and bad) problem: my font settings weren’t used in NetBeans! It seemed like that is a general problem with Java when you’re running Compiz. But I wasn’t throwing away Compiz in favor of NetBeans. Also, Eclipse is Java too, so in my opinion, NetBeans probably could do the same thing.

So today, I finally decided to go with vim. Eclipse was just being too slow again. I made the decision that I won’t touch Eclipse for one month, and that I will use vim as replacement during that time. Lets hope I don’t come back crying to Eclipse. Though I don’t really think that will happen (vim really has some great features, and can do (almost) anything that Eclipse can). Also, I used matthew’s blog for a nice start to PHP programming with vim, and I hope I can keep going to use vim for this month :) .