When comparing SciTE vs PhpStorm, the Slant community recommends PhpStorm for most people. In the question“What are the best programming text editors for a Mac with a GUI?” PhpStorm is ranked 9th while SciTE is ranked 19th. The most important reason people chose PhpStorm is:
PhpStorm has two types of autocompletion: structural completion and word expansion. Structural autocompletion makes predictions based on its understanding of PHP, while the latter tries to predict the word currently being typed based on previously typed words. Word expansion also works in comments and docstrings and it's similar to vim's omnicompletion. Both types of autocompletion work extremely well, have little to no problems and are quite fast even when loading suggestions on the go.
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With less than 2 MB of binary on Windows, SciTE starts instantly. Plus, if you don't need all the config, syntax files, blah, there's a 678k standalone .exe version. Nothing is going to beat that for lightweight and start-up times. Stick it in a folder that is already on your PATH.
Based on the Scintilla source code editor, SciTE has some advanced features like rectangular editing, simple regular expression search and replace, code folding, etc. It allows the user to launch a compiler or interpreter, and it can also interpret the error messages, jumping at the location they point to.
Lua scripting is key to SciTE's power and flexibility. The Lua scripting language can be used to perform complex text transformations. It's relatively simple syntax and its large user-base makes it a great choice for a scripting feature.
It's property files allow for fine tweaks of its behavior, at a global or per language / project level. These textual settings might be confusing for those used to preference dialogs, but prove to be powerful, flexible, and fine grained.
Pro Built-in shell
The console window can show the result of ran commands (like build current file, reporting warnings, and errors), but also accept interactive shell commands.
SciTE works on Windows and Linux, and it also has a commercial port on MacOS.
Pro Powerful syntax highlighting for numerous languages
Lexers providing folding and syntax highlighting are based on code, not on regular expressions. They support context, nesting, special rules, etc.
Pro Free (except on Mac) and open source
SciTE is written in C++, with lot of contributors, both to the core and to the numerous lexers.
Has a simple graphical user interface
Pro Intelligent code completion
PhpStorm has two types of autocompletion: structural completion and word expansion.
Structural autocompletion makes predictions based on its understanding of PHP, while the latter tries to predict the word currently being typed based on previously typed words. Word expansion also works in comments and docstrings and it's similar to vim's omnicompletion.
Both types of autocompletion work extremely well, have little to no problems and are quite fast even when loading suggestions on the go.
Pro Supports various PHP frameworks
Supports Symfony2 (including Twig and Doctrine), Yii frameworks, and Laravel.
Pro PHPDoc support
PHPDoc is a documentation generator. It allows automatically generating documentation from specifically formatted comments.
Pro Inspections of all kinds
Pro Database view
The database tab, while not perfect, provides all the tools you need for daily usage. You always have your DB overview on the side (you can hide it when not needed).
Pro Built-in debugger
Has built in support for Xdebug including remote debugging.
Pro Phar package recognition
Phar support allows running complete applications out of .phar files.
Pro Plugins allow futureproofing and customization
Active development work on plugins is always a plus, as it can extend the use of the IDE.
Pro Lots of plugins
Lots of plugins from JetBrains and the community are available, from useful things like support for Docker, Vagrant, Angular, Vue.js and more useless (but fun) like a nyan cat progress bar.
Pro Integrated Git GUI support
Allows users to manage their repositories directly from the IDE with a GUI which lets you do all Git commands.
Pro Code Refactoring
Quickly rename classes, methods, and variables used across multiple files in the project.
Pro Zero latency typing
Type codes with pleasure. Delay of visual feedback on a computer display has an important effect on typist's behavior and satisfaction, as cited here.
Pro External command support
Ability to setup custom external commands, which is something inherited from eclipse and found lacking on netbeans.
Pro Has built-in console and SSH clients
This allows execution of needed commands without switching to other windows. It also keeps track of what's happening right in the IDE, which is especially good with Vagrant, because you can connect to a VM in a single click.
Pro Auto-sync with remote folders
It allows monitoring code and sync the files that need to be changed with a remote server. This works more efficiently than libnotify and faster than vagrant auto rsync.
Pro Templating support
Supports Twig and Laravel's Blade (among others). Technically the later is part of a framework which Phpstorm supports but I've seen IDEs (e.g. Netbeans) with Laravel support but no blade support so it does deserve a notable mention.
Pro It comes with Testing RESTful Web Services
Save time of building your own or integrating libraries for testing RESTful Web Services. PHPStorm enables you to test endpoints without leaving your workspace or disrupting your workflow . You can code your endpoints in one window and test it immediately from another window.
Pro Emmet integrated
Pro Regular updates for fixes and new features
PhpStorm is clearly being developed continually, which gives confidence that it will be available for some time and is not abandonware.
Pro Integrated Vagrant support
It recognizes Vagrantfile and allows full control from the IDE.
Pro Task/Context functionality
Similar to Eclipse Mylyn: you can create tasks or retrieve them from your ticketing system, and each task keeps its own context (opened files, modifications, etc.).
Pro Responsive core developers
Pro Excellent search tools
Especially the "find in path" feature that displays both results and file preview!
Con Hard to config
The configuration is mainly a file-based config, which can be unintuitive and difficult to use for new users.
Con Missing file browser
SciTE's greatest weakness is perhaps the file browser. It does not really have one, just a poor substitute which works a little bit like a terminal window with
dir commands to show the files in a directory.
No extensions, Themes.
Con Resource exhaustive
It often maxes out even 4 cores, not to mention several hundred MBs of RSS with a single small project opened.
Currently costs £78 but does not seem to offer much more than some free counterparts.
It is not free software (free as in freedom).
Con Slow performance
A very slow indexing, many memory leaks, large projects after some time will be very slow, opening large files like 10mb can even break IDE.
Con Interface is cluttered
Con Sometimes buggy
Index gets corrupt which results in errors in syntax presentation, code validation and auto-completion. Version-control system sometimes stops working, occasionally freezes in big files