Recently I was doing a bit of PHP development for my blog and playing around with the WordPress APIs. After spending some time deciding on the IDE to use, I hit upon NetBeans 6.5, which I think is an awesome tool for PHP development. It has fantastic auto-completion, syntax-highlighting, code-folding and refactoring support unlike no other PHP IDE. It also has nice debugger support (XDebug) but setting it up can be a pain!
I had lot of trouble making it work with issues like: XDebug not being recognized, Apache webserver crashes, etc. However I finally got it working and below are the steps I took on my Windows Vista machine:
[xdebug] zend_extension_ts="<xampplie-install-folder\>/php/ext/php_xdebug-<version-number\>.dll" xdebug.remote_enable=1 xdebug.remote_host=localhost xdebug.remote_port=9000 xdebug.remote_handler=dbgp
Next increase the memory limit of your PHP script to 128M, by modifying the memory_limit variable in php.ini. It is usually around line 246 in that file.
memory_limit = 128M ; Maximum amount of memory a script may consume (16MB)
Save the .ini file and restart the Apache server. I typically do this via the XAMPPLite control panel.
I hope in the future this process becomes a lot simpler, but until then this post will definitely remain useful!