CodeLobsterPHP Edition review

CodeLobsterPHP logoToday I'm writing my review for CodeLobster PHP edition by CodeLobster.com as the first entry to my featured section, It's a multipurpose IDE (Integrated Development Environment) which can handle many web technologies such as HTML, CSS, JavaScript, and PHP of course. This review was done on the Professional version and some features require purchasing a license. For the Arabic review click here.

The latest version of CodeLobsterPHP Edition 5.6 brings many bugfixes such as the MySQL connection loss and incorrect behavior with MySQL tables. And new features that include updating Angular JS, Joomla, Wordpress, Durpal, CakePHP, andCodeIgniter plug-ins to the latest versions ( You need a Pro license to use the plug-ins).


CodeLobsterPHP Edition runs on Windows only, and supports many versions of Windows such as: Windows NT, Windows 2000, Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7, and I have personally tested it on Windows 8.1 and Windows 10 and it worked perfectly! And The interface comes in many languages such as English, Russian, German, Spanish, French, Portuguese, help is also provided for these languages as well.



CodeLobsterPHP Edition provides a FREE version that has all the standard features like:

  • PHP/HTML/CSS/JavaScript highlighting.
  • Advanced PHP/HTML/CSS/JavaScript autocomplete.
  • A powerful PHP debugger.
  • Context and dynamic Help.
  • Code validator. 
  • An SQL manage.
You need to register the FREE version, which is really easy and totally FREE!
After learning about CodeLobsterPHP Edition let's take a look at the program's interface.
 
The Interface



The interface is intuitive and has several skins that you can change to your likeness, and it's divided to four main sections:



CodeLobsterPHP Edition interface
The CodeLobsterPHP Edition interface divided into sections for easier description
1. Top Section

The top section is the menu bar, a three row toolbar which is jam packed with tools that will make your job easier, among the tools there are form control tools, div/span and image maps.


2. Left section

The left section is tabbed and you can alternate between your selections to make the best use of space, you can choose from the menu View > Windows.

3.Center  


The center section has the code editor, which contains three sub tabs below it: Code, preview and inspector. This is an excellent feature if you are coding and constantly jumping to your Internet browser to see how the code turned out. The inspector lets you look at your code in depth and follow brackets.


4. Right section 

IS a really handy one. It displays functions from all supported languages and enables you to look them on-line via double click. You can filter them by language or name! This cheat sheet is an excellent feature for programmers and can be very useful when learning new languages. It follows the tabbed program design which makes the best use of screen space.


5. Bottom section

Is tabbed and you can alternate between your selections to make the best use of space, you can choose from the menu View > Windows.



You can open many files at once as the tabbed design is paramount, you can edit many files at once and compare the changes too.

Features

Let's take a look at the features that makes CodeLobsterPHP Edition stand out from the rest of the IDE crowd


  • Code highlights: Each code is highlighted in a separate color and mixed codes in the same file are supported, you can choose color schemes even from other IDEs!
  • Powerful Auto complete for HTML, PHP, CSS and JavaScript, HTML5 and CSS3 are also supported, The full structure of the PHP project is fully recognized and all the methods falls into place.

  • HTML/CSS inspector on the type of Firebug, which allows to correlate the selected elements of page with a code and proper style easily.

  • Context help on all supported languages. By pressing F1 key the page with detailed description for current tag, attribute or function will be opened.

  • PHP debugger. PHP debugger allows to execute PHP scripts incrementally, watching the values of all variables in every line.

  • SQL manager allows to produce all necessary actions with a database. Add, delete, edit a structure and records in tables, export data, execute SQL queries. Highlighting and autocompletion works for SQL files also.

  • Support of FTP allows to work straight with a remote server and to do all necessary changes with files;

  • The portable option allows to use editor without the preliminary installation.

  • Other useful utilities: pair highlighting, possibility of blocks selection, collapsing, tooltips, navigation on descriptions of functions and included files at withholding of the key of CTRL, viewing of structure of files and project, preview in a browser, book-marks, and all other standard possibilities for work with a code.

Learning curve

Like any new program it takes a little time to get used to, but if you used any IDE before you should be able to jump right in. In all cases I recommend checking out the detailed context help while take grasp of CodeLobsterPHP Edition.

Performance



CodeLobsterPHP Edition has a medium memory foot print compared to text editors (around 70 MB when open up to 200 MB when handling large files, the download size is ideal, and the install size is perfect.

It loads fast (under 10 seconds) and runs like it should, I did my usual test, testing it with small, medium and large source files. All which handled perfectly and with no glitches, all the files were displayed properly, with syntax highlighting almost instantly. Even the larger files (16.8 MB to be exact) had a warning that the file was too long and might take a while loading (I've seen this on almost every text editor I worked with) loaded instantly and with no problems. All the files were opened as tabs at the same time and it passed my test with flying colors. Some of the files were as big as 13.000 lines and the biggest was 123,420 lines long! Opened it in under 10 seconds.



There are three license options to obtain CodeLobsterPHP Edition:



1. CodeLobsterPHP Edition Free Version (Shareware)



CodeLobsterPHP Edition comes free and provides a standard set of features absolutely free of charge! You will need a code to register which can be done in two minutes totally free of charge!




There are paid versions if you need more functionality and to support the developer company. The lite version provides in addition to the standard set the following features: SQL manager, Version Control Systems, Code validator, Code snippets, Code formatting, SASS and LESS, sorting and converting!

You can convert HTML code to PHP and vice-verse! All that for 39.95$ And you can try it for free for 30 days before making the purchase.



The CodeLobsterPHP Edition Professional version is a fully featured suit that combines all the functionality of the previous versions with the addition of plug ins. 12 popular plugins at the tip of your fingers for 99.5$ And you can try it for free for 30 days before making the purchase.



You can also upgrade from CodeLobsterPHP Edition Lite to CodeLobsterPHP Edition Pro with a simple step.


All versions include FREE LIFETIME UPGRADE FLU! 

Buy once and enjoy the updates of this powerful IDE forever! (Very few companies offer this kind of support!)

You can sign up to the forum and suggest features, report bugs or chat with fellow developers and the CodeLobsterPHP Edition team, you can submit wishes and suggest features for the coming versions too. Reading the forum and the social media pages I read that a Linux version is in the works!



Now I'll come to the pros and cons I found using CodeLobsterPHP Edition

Pros

  • Doesn't require any libraries or run times to work. 

  • Can work Portable.

  • Has built-in indexed help (a feature many programs lack these days).

  • Fixable and suitable for many developer needs. 

  • Super fast loading and opening.

  • Handles large files with ease.

  • Life time upgrades on both free and commercial license.  

  • Friendly and responsive forum where you can discuss all you need to know about



Cons



    • Currently it supports Windows only. But checking the company's Facebook page they said that a Linux version is in the works. I'll be changing that accordingly.
      Edit: It's cross platform as of 13/04/2018

       
    • I couldn't make it support Bi-Directional page layout for Arabic language. I've contacted the CodeLobsterPHP Edition support and they assured me that this is a feature that they will work on very soon.
      Edit: It's now supported in 5.8 (Edited on 17/12/2015).
     

      Verdict

      CodeLobsterPHP Edition is one of the best IDEs I tried so far, it beats many tools by the sheer speed and the great arsenal of tools and plug-ins.
      My rating is 4.5/5 and I encourage you to get it! 

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