February 28, 2002

PHPmole: Free development environment for Midgard

Author: JT Smith

Henri Bergius writes: "This is a first look to Alan
Knowles' new Integrated Development Environment (IDE) for
Midgard. PHPmole aims to provide the free software world with a web
development environment comparable to DreamWeaver and MS Visual
Studio, with additional content management functionalities."

Unlike most Midgard applications and development tools, PHPmole is a
native client-side program designed for the the GNOME desktop
environment. Being a native application, it can offer its users with a
more rich and user-friendly interface, plus easy connectivity with
other desktop software. However, this also means that it needs to be
installed on the client machine instead of running it from the server
via a regular browser. The system works also on KDE and other desktops
if the required GNOME libraries are present.

PHPmole offers a quite impressive set of features for developing
Midgard applications. This includes class browser, debugger, HTML
editor, syntax highlighting, autocompletion and context-sensitive help
with integrated function reference. PHPmole communicates with the
remote Midgard server using an XML-based transport layer, and supports
multiple servers.

While PHPmole could be used for developing any PHP applications, it
offers many additional niceties for Midgard developers. All native
Midgard data types are supported with specialized editor components,
and the system also supports uploading file attachments using

With these features, PHPmole can easily be used as the main
administration and development interface for Midgard systems. The
integrated HTML editor enables it to be used also as a content
management interface for Midgard-based web sites. While similar
functionality has been available using Nadmin Studio, PHPmole finally
brings it to Linux and Unix desktops.

PHPmole has been implemented using the PHP-GTK GUI toolkit, and
requires a recent versions of GNOME, PHP and PHP-GTK to run. As these
are not yet available in most distributions, getting PHPmole to work
requires some effort. Luckily the steps required are documented fairly
well on the PHPmole web site. Most of the problems are in PHP-GTK
installation, and are likely to be sorted out in near future.

Currently PHPmole is in release 1.2.2, and is still under active
development. Most of the interface works reliably, but the system
still seems to crash and hang every now and then. Users testing the
application are adviced to use it only with non-production systems.

PHPmole is also available for Windows. However, due to some missing
parts of GNOME infrastructure for that platform, the HTML editor and
the syntax highlighting editor are not supported.

More information

PHPmole is an Integrated Development Enviroment for developing web
applications with PHP and the Midgard application server. In simple
words PHPmole is Dreamweaver crossed with MS Visual Studio, with a
Content Management and Image tools thrown into the bag.

Alan Knowles, PHPmole developer

PHPmole site

http://www.akbkhome.com/Projects/phpmole-IDE/Scree nshots/

PHPmole on SourceForge

Midgard is a freely-available solution for managing content on web and
WAP services. It is also a toolkit for building dynamic applications
to power eBusiness and Information Management processes. Midgard has
been built and is actively maintained by a global group of software
professionals working together in this Open Source project.

Midgard site:


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