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Setting up a PHP/WordPress development environment

From: WordPress: Creating Custom Widgets and Plugins with PHP

Video: Setting up a PHP/WordPress development environment

So in order to develop for WordPress, it's key to have a programming environment that can help us with our PHP coding. There are a bunch of different tools out there, and every one ultimately has their own preference: Adobe Dreamweaver, PHP designer, Zend studio, Aptana PHP, NetBeans and text editors like TextMate. There are tons of them, really, and if you already have a preference, by all means, go ahead and use that. I like PDT, because it's open source. It's based on Eclipse, which has a plugin environment so that it can have all kinds of other things that I can jump around in, if I want to edit JavaScript or XML or something like that, but it also has all the basic things I need in a development environment: code-hinting, code-completion, error highlighting, and it's just real simple and lightweight.

Setting up a PHP/WordPress development environment

So in order to develop for WordPress, it's key to have a programming environment that can help us with our PHP coding. There are a bunch of different tools out there, and every one ultimately has their own preference: Adobe Dreamweaver, PHP designer, Zend studio, Aptana PHP, NetBeans and text editors like TextMate. There are tons of them, really, and if you already have a preference, by all means, go ahead and use that. I like PDT, because it's open source. It's based on Eclipse, which has a plugin environment so that it can have all kinds of other things that I can jump around in, if I want to edit JavaScript or XML or something like that, but it also has all the basic things I need in a development environment: code-hinting, code-completion, error highlighting, and it's just real simple and lightweight.

So let's go ahead and get set out for PDT. So PDT stands for PHP Development Tools. It's part of this Eclipse project. It's a plugin. It's very well used. The whole project is led by Zend, who made Zend Studio. The up side is, because it is managed by Zend, they tend to keep it fairly well up to date. The downside, of course, is there's not really any incentive for them to add the kind of things that they have in their studio, but it's a great lightweight tool. So we're going to download it from eclipse.org/pdt/downloads/ and when we're done downloading, we have this tarball, and in order to install this tarball, double-clicking will extract it to our Desktop. In this case, I downloaded it to my Desktop; you might have downloaded it somewhere else.

So now we have this folder Eclipse. The installation process, in this case, is really just a matter of going to your Applications directory and dragging Eclipse into your Applications directory. You can see, once it's placed in here, there's a file inside called eclipse with the little sphere icon. That's our application. To make it easy, I am going to grab this application, and I am going to put it onto my Dock down here, so that I can launch it whenever I want to.

So when you're ready to launch PDT, simply click the Eclipse icon and go ahead and open it up. It's going to give us an option first to choose a workspace. All a workspace really is is a grouping of projects, so we can go ahead and put it in this particular directory. If you want to change directories, that's fine; just point to an empty directory somewhere. When it's done setting up, we'll get our welcome screen: Welcome to PDT Eclipse for PHP developers. There are some tutorials, samples, and some other helpful things for you that you may want to check out on your own.

For now, I'm just going to ahead and continue straight to the workbench, which is the actual development part of the IDE. So this is our workspace. Over here is where all our files and projects are going to be. This is called the Editor. This is where our actual file will be edited. I've got some other helpful what they call views down here, which can give me information while I am coding, like problems in my code. And then I have an outline view that will essentially give me a hierarchical view of my coding files. Anytime you're working in anything in Eclipse--and PDT is no different--you need to have a project which is going to organize your files.

So to create up new project you can either go to File > New > PHP Project, or you can right-click in the Explore here and go to New > PHP Project. This will open the New PHP Project Wizard. You're going to enter a name. I am just going to call it WordPress, and I like to just point it to the WordPress installation itself. That way I have access to all the different PHP files inside of it. So create a project in an existing location and go ahead and point to where all of your WordPress files are.

In my cases it's going to be in MAMP > htdocs > wordpress. You can also set it if you want to use different versions of PHP depending on if you're trying to sync with a different environment or something or if that's what you have installed on your computer, you can select that. By default, it will use whatever PHP it detects. And we're going to go ahead and Enable JavaScript support. Really all that means is if I open a JavaScript file, it's going to open in editor, and this is going to have code- hinting for that as well, which is nice. The next item is the Include Path, which essentially allows me to choose different places where I might have PHP files that I am going to use.

In this case, I don't have any, so I am not going to do anything here. So you can see I've got it installed now, and I have access to all my files. It has detected some issues-- nothing to worry about. I can open any of these files, and you can see I have all my code-hinting, comments are a different color, HTML is a different color, so it makes it real easy to see what's going on in my code. And again, I have this hierarchical view I can go through. Now we've got PDT all set up and configured, and we're ready to start writing WordPress plugins.

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This video is part of

Image for WordPress: Creating Custom Widgets and Plugins with PHP
 
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  1. 1m 49s
    1. Welcome
      1m 16s
    2. Using the exercise files
      33s
  2. 23m 29s
    1. WordPress overview
      2m 32s
    2. Installing WPI for Windows
      3m 42s
    3. Installing MAMP for the Mac
      3m 25s
    4. Installing and configuring WordPress
      5m 51s
    5. Comparing WordPress 3.0 with previous versions
      2m 57s
    6. Setting up a PHP/WordPress development environment
      5m 2s
  3. 14m 47s
    1. Exploring WordPress plugins
      3m 42s
    2. Administering plugins from the WordPress admin
      5m 23s
    3. Exploring where plugins reside
      2m 51s
    4. Introduction to hooks
      2m 51s
  4. 39m 28s
    1. Creating the plugin PHP file(s)
      3m 12s
    2. More on hooks: Actions and filters
      3m 15s
    3. Installation and activation
      4m 6s
    4. Writing activation code
      3m 45s
    5. Writing an action
      5m 12s
    6. Writing a filter
      4m 15s
    7. About pluggable functions
      2m 1s
    8. Writing a pluggable function
      5m 30s
    9. Using template tags
      2m 46s
    10. Introducing shortcode
      5m 26s
  5. 26m 2s
    1. Widgets and the WordPress Widgets SubPanel
      2m 54s
    2. Comparing widgets and plugins
      1m 8s
    3. Using and customizing built-in widgets
      3m 18s
    4. Creating a new widget
      7m 21s
    5. Writing the constructor and registering widgets
      5m 20s
    6. Enabling configuration of widgets
      6m 1s
  6. 44m 59s
    1. Creating an admin interface
      5m 25s
    2. Saving data to the database
      5m 39s
    3. Securing form submission with nonces
      2m 25s
    4. Options editing post-WordPress 2.7
      4m 8s
    5. Integrating with the WordPress admin menus
      3m 34s
    6. WordPress admin dashboard API
      4m 5s
    7. Using existing options and option editing pages in WordPress
      5m 19s
    8. Using jQuery and AJAX for administration
      14m 24s
  7. 27m 13s
    1. Accessing the WordPress database
      5m 45s
    2. Using the built-in schema
      2m 21s
    3. Accessing data using $wpdb
      5m 15s
    4. Creating new tables
      7m 18s
    5. Inserting data
      6m 34s
  8. 26m 27s
    1. Introducing the Loop
      6m 22s
    2. Using WP_Query()
      3m 11s
    3. Custom filtering and sticky posts
      4m 58s
    4. Using jQuery and AJAX for posts and pages
      11m 56s
  9. 12m 9s
    1. Registering and promoting plugins
      2m 28s
    2. Creating an uninstall function
      5m 53s
    3. Backward compatibility issues
      3m 48s
  10. 15m 3s
    1. Understanding security issues
      11m 20s
    2. Internationalizing your plugin
      3m 43s
  11. 18s
    1. Goodbye
      18s

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