The making of TSW WebCoder 2013 part 14 – PHP Development Server

November 20, 2012

In version 5.4 of PHP, the team behind PHP did something really, really great: They included a built-in webserver. This means that you can now test your PHP code on your Windows machine without having to run a full-blown webserver like Apache. This also saves you from having to setup Apache and PHP to work together - everything can now be done by downloading PHP and running a simple command. TSW WebCoder 2013 takes full advantage of this - the PHP Development Server has been thought into all parts of this version. You can preview and even debug your PHP code in WebCoder through this built-in webserver, and the best part is that WebCoder can set it all up for you!

First of all, whenever you try to debug or preview a PHP file, WebCoder will check for a valid server mapping. If none is found, you will be presented with a dialog like this (the values are automatically filled, based on the location of your file):


With a single click you can either start up a new Development Server instance and have your code previewed through it, or you can create a new server mapping - the values have already been pre-filled and should be ready to use.

If you haven't already downloaded PHP, WebCoder will prompt you to do it with this dialog:


Simply click the Download button and a ZIP file will be automatically downloaded and extracted, ready for you to use.

If you use the PHP Development Server, setting up debugging is literally a breeze - allow WebCoder to download PHP for you and it will automatically configure it for debugging on your machine. I have spent a lot of time making it much easier to use and setup debugging, which you will see very soon, once the first beta version is released. As always, stay tuned, and let me know what you think so far :)

Kasper (TSW) @ 11:31 am in TSW,WebCoder

The making of TSW WebCoder 2013 part 13 – Settings in the cloud

November 14, 2012

On Facebook I got a cool comment from Daniel:

Like many people I work from multiple workstations and I would appreciate the opportunity to synchronize the TSW so settings, stored ftp server, Sniplets - store them e.g. in Dropbox or other cloud storage to have them on all workstations. Is it possible to implement this (if it is not already)?

I had already been thinking about "mobile settings" many times, but I couldn't seem to find the right approach. However, something in Daniel's comment made me realize how easy this could actually be implemented, so I did. Daniel left this comment a couple of days ago, and since then I implemented a solution in WebCoder 2013 that will help you guys keep your settings on a common local network location or in the cloud through a service like Dropbox.

It all relies on a small and simple text file, placed in the correct location, which will redirect WebCoder to read your settings from another location than the default one. I decided that this would be a job for the Settings Controller utility application that has been included with WebCoder for several versions now, but I also decided that it might be time for a facelift for this little helper. Here's how it looked for WebCoder 2010:


I admit that I didn't really do a lot of polishing on that application - it was a quick and dirty solution to some problems that I knew some users where having from time to time with their settings.

I combined the functionality of the old app with the settings redirection functionality that I wanted in WebCoder 2013, and this time I made it look a bit nicer, so nobody would hurt their eyes when they needed this functionality :). Here's the result:


A click on "Enabled" and the selection of the new location is all you need to redirect your settings to another location. I tried this with Dropbox, using the same settings on my desktop and my laptop, and it seems to be working very well!

Hopefully you will like this little addition to WebCoder, and please, do let me know if you can come up with a better (but not longer) name than "Settings redirection" :). Thank you Daniel, for the inspiration!

Kasper (TSW) @ 3:59 pm in TSW,WebCoder

The making of TSW WebCoder 2013 part 12 – The full picture

November 1, 2012

As promised in the last post, here's the very first full screenshot of WebCoder 2013 ever published - this is how it looks right now! First the picture and then a few words about it (click for the full-size screenshot):

WebCoder 2013 main interface

Your first impression might be that it looks a lot like WebCoder 2010, and sure, the structure is the same. But take a closer look and notice all the subtle differences. Some of them have already been mentioned in previous posts, while others haven't. Here's my list, from top to bottom:

  • The new look, which adapts to the version of Windows you're using (this is from Windows 7)
  • The Ribbon, of course
  • The new validation view, where the line numbers also tell you about the type of message (information, warning or error)
  • The status bar that shows you standards and validation information and lets you see and change the document encoding
  • The status bar link that tells you about new updates, e.g. from the TSW blog (only visible when there are unread items)

And those changes are just the ones visible on the screenshot - there's plenty of other hidden gems around the interface :)

The above screenshot is, deliberately, a bit "busy", because there's a lot I want to show you. However, don't be fooled - WebCoder can be very minimalistic, with a single press on your F7 key (click for the full-size screenshot):

WebCoder 2013 in fullscreen mode

Lots of room for your code right there, and of course, all the validation can be disabled as well.

So, what do you think? I hope you like what you've seen so far, but we're not quite done yet - stay tuned for more WebCoder 2013 information :)

Kasper (TSW) @ 5:36 pm in TSW,WebCoder