Most of my friends seem to use regular text editors for their php programming. I do not need to connect to a database with my coding. I just would like something that understands php functions and such, so that appropriate areas are highlighted.
Or so that php errors such as missing semicolons and such are easy to spot.
What would you recommend I switch to? Or is there not something that Adobe makes that is specifically for PHP?
While Dreamweaver CS4 didn´t add significant improvements for PHP developers in particular, the new version CS5 is indeed a huge step forward. Please have a look at the excellent review by David Powers: Dreamweaver CS5 is good news for PHP devs
My recommendation ? Well, if you consider Dreamweaver CS3 in general (not just talking about the PHP specific features) as overall helpful tool in many areas (e.g. CSS rendering, visual layout drafts etc), then CS5 will be an improvement in these areas as well and could be worth trying/buying. On the other hand: if you´re only interested in "whatever" development tool to give you advanced PHP support, the Eclipse - based Aptana plugin or the Netbeans PHP IDE are pretty fine tools as well.
Awesome! That's exactly what I was looking for. I had not seen that article about CS5, and was happy to see the way php is color coded and php functions are recognized. And on top of that, it recognizes some php errors. Perfect... Thank you!