When comparing Brackets vs PHP Development Tools, the Slant community recommends PHP Development Tools for most people. In the question“What are the best PHP IDEs?” PHP Development Tools is ranked 7th while Brackets is ranked 19th. The most important reason people chose PHP Development Tools is:
Eclipse has a huge community developing plugins that can then be found on the [marketplace](http://marketplace.eclipse.org/).
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Pro Built-in browser live-updating
Brackets will automatically refresh the browser and load the latest saved version of a file open in the browser. This works with php as well. Editing a css will even highlight the tag that's currently being worked on. However, it only works with Chrome.
Pro Free, open source and cross-platform
Brackets is entirely free and open source.
Pro Built-in extension manager
The functionality of Brackets can be extended via a simple-to-use extension manager. The extension manager also has a considerable number of extensions and themes.
Pro Actively developed
Brackets is being actively maintained and developed.
Pro Can style a tag without switching over to the stylesheet
A feature called "Quick Edit" allows the user to select a tag in (a html file, for example) and edit the associated style without switching over to the css document. It also supports SASS and LESS pre-processors.
Brackets is easy on memory usage and it starts up quickly.
Pro Popup previews
Hovering over colors hex codes or image paths will pop up previews of corresponding colors and images.
Pro Can be hacked by any front-end developer
Pro Vim mode
Vim-style editing is already built in the text editor.
Pro Drag and drop support
Brackets supports drag and drop of text, as well as multi / rectangular selection.
Pro Support for Adobe PSD content
A default extension allows for the extraction of PSD resources, such as images and styles. There's good integration for placing extracted resources into source.
Pro Access to a wide variety of Eclipse plugins
Eclipse has a huge community developing plugins that can then be found on the marketplace.
Pro A plethora of configuration options
Each component of Eclipse can be configured separately offering fine grained control.
Pro Free, cross-platform
PDT is available for free on Windows, OSX and Linux.
Pro Modular architecture offers flexibility in setup
Since Eclipse is highly modular by design, relying heavily on plugins for functionality it can be set up so that it includes only the necessary functionality and nothing else.
Con Still missing some elementary text editor commands
Some gaps have to be filled by plugins, while these features should be built in.
- Jump to matching brace (bracket / parenthesis);
- Gutter selection of lines;
- Recall previous searches / replacements;
- Autofill of search field with text under caret (text has to be selected);
- Show whitespace / end of lines / indentation guides / right margin;
- Selection to upper / lower case;
and some more.
Con Problematic updater
Though the website says there is an update available, the updater in Brackets may give you an error, resulting in you having to download updates manually.
Con Supports only web languages by default <but>
Brackets is built for web development and that's where it excels at out of the box. Other languages that have a CodeMirror mode can be added as well.
<and language support plugins can be added>
Con Configuring Eclipse is time-consuming
Setting up Eclipse can be difficult. Each section and each plugin of Eclipse has its own preferences that together add up to lots of tweaking.