PHP Support in NetBeans - Engineering Plan



Support for PHP in NetBeans is being developed with the goal to eventually make it an integral but distinct part of the standard NetBeans distribution. PHP features will be developed gradually over several milestones, with the goal to have a similar list of features as other PHP tools. This document outlines the plan to achieve this.


This list of features is phased over several milestones. The features for the individual milestones are described separately in the PHPDevelopmentPlan document.


Summary of releases

The PHP features for will be developed in several phases:

  • Early Access release - the release date will be synchronized with the NetBeans 6.1 release. See below for the exact schedule of this release.
  • First final release - tentatively planned for the fall of 2008. Ideally should be synchronized with a proper NetBeans release.
  • Subsequent releases - releases after the first final release in fall 2008.

Early Access release schedule

The release date of the Early Access of PHP tooling is synchronized with the NetBeans 6.1 release date, however the fine grained development schedule is different. See the NetBeans 6.1 schedule for reference. Here is the schedule of the PHP tooling Early Access release:

Milestone Planned Notes
Development started Mon, Feb 11
Zip builds available Tue, Mar 4
Feature complete  ? Adding new features will be limited/closely controlled after April 14
RC for Early Access available for internal testing Thu, Apr 17
Go/NoGo Mon, Apr 21 Synced up with NetBeans 6.1 Go/NoGo
Web team pushes PHP tools Early Access live Wed, Apr 23 Synced up with NetBeans 6.1 FCS golive


The PHP team has representatives from development engineering, QE, documentation and HIE. The PHP team members are listed on this page: PHPTeamMembers.

The QE team plan is available here: PHP test plan.

The documentation plan is available here: PHPDocPlan.

Distribution and installation

Early Access release

For this release, the PHP support will be released as a distinct NetBeans distribution ("PHP distribution"). This distribution will contain only the Base IDE modules and the PHP features, no other functionality. The PHP distribution will not bundle any runtimes (Apache, PHP engine, MySQL, ...). This distribution will be availabe from the main NetBeans download page next to the other distributions, with a clear indication of its Early Access status. The exact L&F of the download page is TBD.

The PHP functionality will not be included in the all-in-one distribution of NetBeans.

The PHP features will not be available on the update center for NetBeans 6.1.

First final release

The first final release of the PHP functionality should ideally be made a first class citizen of NetBeans. This means the following:

  • There will continue to be the standalone PHP distribution of NetBeans. The beta status indication for this release will disappear from the download page.
  • PHP features will also be included in the all-in-one distribution of NetBeans. This assumes that there is a NetBeans release synchronized with the first final release of the PHP features. The formal planning for NetBeans releases beyond 6.1 has not started yet - the PHP project schedule should be taken into consideration when
  • PHP features will continue to be available on the update center, so they are available to the users using other distributions than the PHP and all-in-one distribution.

Quality Criteria

Early Access release

For the EA release, the quality criteria are:

  • No stopper bugs allowed. It is up to the i-team to decide what is a stopper.
  • Concrete usage scenarios will be tested, and there must not be any stopper bugs in these scenarios.

First final release

For the first final release, the quality criteria are consistent with the criteria for the other NetBeans features.


We will not go through the ARC (architecture) review for the Early Access release. The final release of the PHP tooling will be ARC-ed.

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