From Eclipse to Emacs: Drupal development with Subversion, tags, templates, and xdebug

| drupal, emacs

Yesterday, I started working on my Drupal project in Emacs. I can’t believe I hadn’t moved to Emacs earlier. =)

I really like being able to diff a file with C-x v = (vc-diff) and check in a file with C-x v v (vc-next-action). I also like the way that svn-status (from psvn.el) lets me examine a directory tree, mark a set of files, and commit them–all without using the mouse. I probably should’ve set up keyboard shortcuts for these in Eclipse, but Eclipse made it too easy to just use the mouse. Emacs encourages you to use the keyboard, and it’s easy to customize any keyboard shortcut.

php-mode’s C-c . (php-show-arglist) works beautifully with the TAGS file that I’d set up using Exuberant Ctags, so I don’t need to do anything special in order to get function definitions. Definition functions for PHP functions would be nice. In the meantime, there’s C-c C-f (php-search-documentation).

The yasnippet template engine came in handy when I was writing test cases. I updated my module template to include the simpletest hook, added a test case template, and added a template for the simpletest hook as well. Yay dynamic templates!

And I just got Xdebug working with PhpMode and Geben… Sweet!

You can comment with Disqus or you can e-mail me at