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Scrappy JetBrains Releases PhpStorm 2

I try not to let my fanboy tendencies leak into my coverage of tools and tech, but I have to admit to a fondness for JetBrains, the Prague-based maker of the venerable code-centric Java IDE, IntelliJ IDEA, one of the relatively few such tools to survive the Eclipse Juggernaut. (I've referred to the advent of Eclipse that way so often I thought it was time I capitalized the moniker.)

It's hard not to root for the scrappy survivor, and the company was scrappier than ever last month when Oracle announced that it would be dropping support for Ruby on Rails in the NetBeans IDE. The company tweeted: "We welcome all NetBeans users to start evaluating RubyMine as your new Ruby/Rails IDE! Expect some great news very soon on our pricing page!"

See? Scrappy.

JetBrains was probably the first dev tool maker to support Rails 3.0, which it did via its RubyMine IDE. Like IntelliJ, RubyMine is known for its intelligent refactoring and code analysis capabilities. When I talked with the company late last year, the product's lead developer, Dennis Ushakov, said, "We are doing our best to keep RubyMine on the cutting edge, which is a must with a technology as dynamic as Ruby on Rails."

In addition to IntelliJ IDEA and the RubyMine IDE for Ruby on Rails, the company makes a Python tool (PyCharm); a PHP tool (PhpStorm); and a tool for JavaScript, HTML and CSS (WebStorm).

We reported last week on the company's release of version 10.5 of the IntelliJ IDEA tool, but I wanted to make sure we also mentioned the February 14 release of PhpStorm 2.0.

PhpStorm was one of the first smart IDEs for PHP development. It gave users of the popular dynamic language some features they hadn't seen before in a tool designed just for them, including automated refactoring, deep code analysis, on-the-fly error checking, and quick-fixes. Version 2.0 of the IDE focuses on more intelligence, better code quality assurance, and support for the latest PHP trends. It adds support for PHP 5.3 namespaces and closures, ECMAScript 5, and LESS and SASS extensions for CSS.

It also aims to improve the environment itself, as the company says, "making debugging easier with a zero-configuration debugger, extending its code analysis capabilities to provide more code inspections and quick-fixes, reworking the UI, and simplifying working with issue trackers and version control systems right out of the IDE."

The company unveiled its newest tools during a celebration of new offices in Munich, Germany. Snapshots and status updates are available on the company's Facebook page.

More info about PhpStorm and a 30-day evaluation version are available on the company Web site. But also check out the "WebStorm & PhpStorm Blog"  for tips and news about these tools.

Posted by John K. Waters on February 28, 2011