CodeLobster All-in-One Coding Software

CodeLobster PHP Edition Software Review

Written by Ian Lincicome of Jafty Interactive Web Development –

For the past couple of weeks, I have been evaluating CodeLobster’s latest release of “CodeLobster PHP Edition” which I’ll refer to as simply “CodeLobster” from here on out in this review. The current edition at the time of writing this review was CodeLobster PHP Edition Professional Version 5.4. I am reviewing CodeLobster because I am looking for a tool I can use for my web development business, Jafty Interactive Web Development. Also I was given a break on purchasing the pro version of CodeLobster in exchange for writing a product review on my site, Please note that I am under no obligation to write a positive review. I will be as brutally honest as ever, I assure you. This review will include both the pros and cons of using CodeLobster rather than a one-sided review like many company’s probably hire writers to write. In fact, if that was my intention, I wouldn’t have mentioned that the someone had asked me to write this review. My ulterior motive for writing the review is to find the perfect program to do my work for my business. The rest of the sectors, like recruiting a marketing team and hiring Salesforce support services have been taken care of. I am also evaluating other products as well because I want to work with the best.

I’m looking for an application that will allow me to seamlessly edit several types of code on several different servers without having to use a separate code editor, FTP program, web browser and Language reference material. To this date, I have been using three separate applications to accomplish my day-to-day work. I used FileZilla to copy files from a client’s web server to my desktop. I used Notepad++ to edit the code files. Finally, before using FileZilla again to upload the files back to the client’s server, I viewed the file in Firefox to see how it looks in a browser. That is if it is not a server-side language like PHP which I use the most. If I had to edit a PHP file, I had yet another couple of steps to perform because I’d have to upload the file to the server to view it and then repeat the whole entire process again if I had more changes to make to get it perfect. So I used FileZilla, Notepad++ and Firefox mostly up until now. I figure I could probably almost double my productivity with one good tool that does it all.

Technologies CodeLobster Supports

CodeLobster supports a wide range of technologies including:

  • PHP
  • HTML
  • JavaScript
  • CSS
  • SQL
  • MySQL
  • Version control systems such as SVN, Git etc.
  • CakePHP
  • CodeIgniter
  • WordPress
  • Drupal
  • Joomla
  • Facebook
  • jQuery
  • Smarty
  • Symfony
  • Yii

CodeLobster also has a very wide assortment of features including all the standard components you would expect in a code editor and many extras. I found a helpful built-in Help feature that also links to online help if you can’t find what you need in the built-in documentation. The online documentation is surprisingly complete for a newer product.

Installing CodeLobster

The installation went smoothly and was very easy and comprehensive. Simply download and click the set up file and the installer will guide you through the simple set up process. Here is the Download Link:

When I first installed CodeLobster, it allowed me to select what languages/technologies I wanted to install. I only deselected two that I knew for sure I would most likely never use. I figured if there was even a small chance that I might use one of the items listed, then I should leave it checked. That way I will be prepared in case I need that particular technology in the future.

Pros and Cons

Once I began using CodeLobster I noticed both good and bad points regarding the program. I loved how versatile the program was right out of the box. I did not like the way the word wrap feature worked(View/Word Wrap). It breaks up words rather than splitting lines by the nearest space. I’d prefer it to not break up words at all or at least do so in a more logical manner(by syllables with hyphens for example). From what I understand from reading the forums and talking with my contact, CodeLobster plans to add an option between soft and hard word-wrap. Hard wrap is how it is now and soft wrap would be a word-wrap technique that doesn’t break up words. I do hope they add it soon because it was one of the of the first things I noticed.

One of the first features I noticed and liked was the completely configurable hot-keys. You can configure any hot-key by going to Tools/Preferences/IDE/Hot keys. Another nice feature is the Find and Replace feature that is very much like that of Notepad++ including regular expression search and the ability to search and replace text in files, folders and sub-folders. This can be a huge time-saver for coders.

One of the first things I noticed and did not like was the lack of a decent spell checker. I know notepad++ has the option as a plugin, but not as a built-in feature. Either way would be great, but I think it should be a standard built-in feature. I realize that auto-complete helps with this, but not if you are writing a plain text file such as I am doing right now while writing this review. I talked to my contact at CodeLobster Software about this and he assured me that they plan to add a robust spell-checking feature in the near future. He mentioned that they plan on making several additions to the software and will be releasing future editions with new features and improvements ASAP. So, while CodeLobster may not have everything I would like it to have at the moment, I was assured that they are heading in the right direction with future expansion plans.

Another nice feature I also noticed right away was CodeLobster’s tool bars. The tool bars are completely configurable and have a nice drag and drop feature to move tool bar items around as you please. The same can be said for the man different windows that can be added or removed from the work area.

CodeLobster is a code editor first & foremost and it does a wonderful job at editing PHP code which is my code of choice. If you are looking for a word processor, CodeLobster probably won’t fit the bill, but it is a very robust code editor that can handle all of the languages I use for web development and several others.

CodeLobster’s plugin ability is great to have in a code editing program. The pro version of CodeLobster comes with many plugins that the free version does not include from what I understand, so I think the pro version is definitely worth the cost for those of you who work with frameworks such as WordPress, Joomla, CakePHP, CodeIgniter, etc. I currently own the Pro version and I am happy with its performance so far and will be much happier once some of the additions are made in the near future.

Even the free version would be great for coders who use many different coding languages regularly but don’t need the extra plugin abilities that require the pro version. As a full-time web developer, I mostly use PHP, HTML, CSS, JavaScript, WordPress and MySQL. I also occasionally use Joomla, XML, Perl, Python, Drupal, Smarty, Laravel, CakePHP and others, so I require the Pro version of CodeLobster myself. If you only use the most common languages such as PHP, HTML, CSS and JavaScript, you can probably do fine with the free version. Some of the things I require the Pro version for include WordPress support, Smarty, Laravel and CakePHP. Honestly there are to many features to list here. You should visit their web page at to figure out which version is best for you. They also have a Lite version which you can read about on their site since I won’t be covering CodeLobster Lite here.

As I continue to evaluate the software I am finding there are more and more features that I like. As a web developer, I need a tool that allows me to quickly edit code, test it and upload it to the client’s server. So far, CodeLobster seems to be meeting my three main requirements quite well in most cases.

FTP Feature

CodeLobster’s FTP ability is a very powerful feature. The FTP feature allows you to set up as many FTP connections as you need. I was able to copy all of my client’s FTP connections from FileZilla into CodeLobster. Now I am able to click on a connection, edit a server file, preview it and upload it back to the server seamlessly from within a single application! This is huge for me because I used to use at least three different applications to do the same thing without CodeLobster. I can see that my work will get done a lot faster by using CodeLobster. In fact, I am already getting work done faster after only two days of using it.

The FTP feature is very functional, but for a guy like me who hates to read instructions, it took a little bit of fooling around using trial and error methods to get it set up for the first time with all of my client’s 20+ FTP connections and configuring basic settings. Everything I needed to accomplish my FTP tasks is in CodeLobster, but the FTP system does need some improvements. For example it gave me trouble when trying to connect to a SFTP connection. It worked great with all non-secure FTP connections however. As luck would have it, out of over 20 current clients I work with, only one uses SFTP rather than FTP, so I am unable to test it on other secure SFTP servers to see if the problem is just with this one server or not. Unfortunately this is one of my regular clients so it is going to be a problem for me. It did connect using SFTP, but had issues when trying to edit files on the server which I was able to do fine with regular FTP connections. I did bring this issue to the attention of my CodeLobster contact however and he assures me it will be looked into ASAP.

Regarding the GUI set-up for FTP, in my personal opinion, the way the windows are organized in the work area could have been done a little better. For example, when I use FTP, I have to go to Tools/FTP to open the explorer window that lists FTP connections. That alone will allow you to open your FTP connection but won’t allow you to see what’s going on. If there was an error and the only window you had open in your work area was the explorer window, you wouldn’t see that error. This is where I think it could have been done better. I would have programmed it so that when you open the FTP window, the output window opens along with it, right above it, similar to how FileZilla allows you to view console output. Of course this is just my opinion, it may not bother others and actually I am starting to get used to it so it doesn’t bother me as much as time passes.

Search Features

The “Find in Files”(Search/Find in Files…) feature is great for finding text in open files. It could be improved to allow file search on the local directory tree files as well, but it is sufficient the way it is. Also I love the regular expression search as I mentioned earlier.

Also, I often use the incremental search feature when I edit code. While I am glad it has this feature, a small nuisance for me is that the incremental search box is not persistent across different views. I think it would be nice if the incremental search box would stay at the bottom of all view tabs once it is opened. I don’t think it should close unless you manually close it. Again, this is just my preference, not a bug.

Nice-to-Have Features

One more thing I liked while test driving CodeLobster is that when editing .html and .css files I could hover over class names in the HTML or CSS code and it would show me the associated style declaration. Also when hovering over items in a .css file, it shows me information regarding the browser compatibility of the CSS code.

The HTML preview feature works very well. It is a built-in browser that shows the results of your code live without having to open a separate browser window. All you do is click on the “preview” tab. I did notice that sometimes you have to hit the refresh button to see your changes, but that is to be expected.

I also enjoyed the code formatting features very much. I tested them on an HTML file that I copied from an online web page. At first the HTML code was ran all together with no line breaks or indents. I simply went to the tool bar and clicked “Tools/Code Format/Format” and it formatted it perfectly. I am sure it will work with other supported languages equally well.

When you double-click on a variable name in the PHP editor, it highlights the variable and the dollar sign, so you can copy the whole thing and paste or search for it easily. Notepad++ wouldn’t include the dollar sign and it was a bother to me.

CodeLobster has what they call a “Map” feature(View/Windows/Map) that I’ve never seen before. It is basically a small window with a tiny view of the document you’re working on. It allows you to click anywhere in the Map to quickly jump to a section of the file that you need to work on. It is a great feature for working with large files.


I have concluded that CodeLobster will indeed fill a need in my current web development process. It is not yet developed enough to be the only tool I use simply because of that one SFTP connection it will not work correctly with. However I found that I can combine it with another tool, CyberDuck, as a work-around until the developers of CodeLobster work out the final kinks in the software and add some more nice-to-have type features such as spell-check and . In the end it still gets a thumbs up for all the wonderful features it has and for its robustness in general. Eventually I believe it will make the perfect all-in-one coding tool for my company. The other contender for my new all-in-one coding tool was CyberDuck and I can honestly say that CodeLobster has much more potential. CyberDuck is also in its early stages of development and it needs several improvements to be truly useful. CyberDuck fails in comparison to CodeLobster when it comes to Features. CodeLobster is truly made to be an all-in-one coding solution while CyberDuck is missing many of the necessary features to be a real competitor.

If you are interested in how I combined CodeLobster with CyberDuck to make up for CodeLobster’s short-coming when connecting by SFTP, I’ll quickly go over how to do it. Create a bookmark(that’s what CyberDuck calls their FTP/SFTP connections) in CyberDuck to the SFTP server. CyberDuck allows you to set it up so you can use your own code editor with it in a way that allows you to click on a file from a remote server and open it in that editor. Then when you save it in that editor(CodeLobster), it saves it to the server. That way I still have a seamless process even though I have to combine two tools to get what I truly want.

Edit Files Live on the Server

I’ve been a web developer for many  years now and I must say I feel a little foolish for not thinking of this earlier. I’ve been wasting countless amounts of time waiting for files to upload and doing the mundane tasks involved in updating files and uploading them to a server when I didn’t really have to. Here’s why.

Today I got fed up with editing my file in Notepad++, switching to Filezilla,  finding the file in a folder on my desktop, uploading the file by dragging it to Filezilla and finally testing my online website or app. I decided to Google the term “Edit files live on server” and found that has an amazing product which allows you to type in your FTP details, just like I used to in Filezilla, and open a connection to my server. Then it gives me a directory tree on my server. CyberDuck allows me to click on any file on my server and open it in Notepad++ on my desktop, edit it and save it right back to the server without having to click and drag it to another program like I used to do for so many years.

This is the best program for a developer I have found in years. Traditionally I do not favor fancy programs to help you write code or frameworks to make things “easier” because I found that they only complicate matters in the long run, CyberDuck is the exception however. It is great so far, but I’ve only been using it for an hour now, so if I find any flaws, I will report them here asap. I just wanted to share this. If you are interested in downloading the CyberDuck app for yourself, simply CLICK HERE or the link above and look for the two download links on the left side of the page. Do not use the first download link you see at the top of the page because it is a sponsored ad and will try to trick you into downloading something else. I hate those types of ads, but none-the-less, I still recommend CyberDuck!

Like I said, it’s great when used with Notepad++, so if you’d like the experience I had, download Notepad++ too. Just google it, it’s easy to find.

Mysql Get Highest Value for Column in Table

Today I had a project where I had to find what the highest year was in a database table that contained MLB statistics.  The table contained a column for year and I wanted to see if it was updated for the last year, so I figured out the following query to determine the last year inserted into the table.

MYSQL Query:

SELECT MAX(year) AS year FROM TableName


mysql_query(“SELECT MAX(year) AS year FROM TableName”) or die(mysql_error())


$yr = $r[‘year’];

echo “Highest Year Found: $yr<br />”;



I hope that helps. I have shown how you can get the highest value of a column in basic SQL which could be done from a PHPMyAdmin query window and how to do it with PHP.  All you have to do in the above examples is replace “year” with the column name containing the value you want to find the maximum of and replace “tableName” with the name of the actual table. Of course in the php example, you would also have to add a database connection string before the code for it to work.

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Converting PostgreSQL Database to Mysql Database

I am writing this tutorial because I couldn’t find out how to do this successfully on the internet by doing a Google search and had to figure it out on my own. Sometimes, when doing web development, we have to do that regardless of how much time and how many tries it takes. In the end here is the solution I found to convert my PostgreSQL database into a MySQL database. I am not saying this is the best or only solution in the world to do this, but it is the only one that worked for me. There was online converters that did not work in my case and there are complicated database management utilities you can download and user from the desktop, but they are nearly impossible to use if you don’t have a doctorate in Computer science and about 20 years of experience behind your belt. Anyway, Here is how I did it:


  1. I used phppgadmin to export the tables one at a time in CSV format. To do so, simply open your phppgadmin, go to the table you want, click on “Export” then select “data only” and for “Format”, select “CSV” from the drop-down. Then tick the download option near the bottom and click the “Export” button to download the CSV file to your local machine.
  2. Now open phpmyadmin in your browser and select a database to add the table to or create a new database and select it.
  3. with the database selected, click on the “Import” tab.
  4. Click “Browse” and select the dump file created in step one. If the dump file is larger than 2,000 KiB see the section below for special instructions for larger files.
  5. For “Format of imported file” select “CSV”.
  6. For “Fields terminated by”, enter a comma.
  7. Place a check in the box that says “column names in first row”.
  8. Leave the rest of the options set to default and click the “Go” button.
  9. You will see it created a new table and named it something like Table1. Change the table name according to your needs and you are done. You may need to view the structure and make some changes, but it will work as-is for most situations.

Importing Large files bigger than 2,000 KiB

To import larger files, you have to break up the dump CSV file into sections. Here is how:

  1. Start from the bottom and copy the last 500-3000 lines to the clipboard, depending on how much data is in them. Try 2000 and if it is still over 2,000 KiB, do the math and try again.
  2. Paste the data into a new CSV file.
  3. From the original dump file, go to the first line and copy it and paste it to the first line of the new CSV file you have created.
  4. Save the file as somename.csv.
  5. Follow the above instructions to import the file into a table and repeat as many times as needed.


Amazon Cloud Server Security Rules

In this tutorial, I will go into detail about how to set up security rules for a Linux AMI in an Amazon EC2 web server instance.

When you are creating your instance, you will click on instances in the main nav and then click to add a new instance. In the step of this process that asks you to create or select a security group, you will want to create a special one according to your preferences in most cases unless one of the default ones happens to cover your needs which I doubt. Below, I will go over the rules for creating one for a Linux server with a MySQL database and later a Linux server with a PostgreSQL database. Both are for web servers of course.

Security rules for Linux MySQL Web server

Ports Protocol Source
21 tcp
22 tcp
80 tcp
443 tcp
49152-65535 tcp
0-65535 udp
-1 icmp

when creating your instance, you will be given the opportunity to enter the above rules in. Simply follow the table and create duplicate rules and your web server with Linux and MySQL will work just fine as mine does.


Security rules for Linux PostgreSQL web server

Ports Protocol Source postgresql
21 tcp
22 tcp
80 tcp
443 tcp
5432 tcp
5434 tcp
5499 tcp
49152-65535 tcp
0-65535 udp
-1 icmp

Regardless of which set up you choose, they are entered the same way when you create the instance from your Amazon Management Console. Most of you will probably be using a MySQL database, but as a web developer, I do have a couple clients that use a PostgreSQL database, so it is relevant information for some people.

 Tips for creating Security Groups for an Amazon EC2 Instance

There are some things you should be aware of when creating your security groups. I included the following tips so that beginning web developers do not face the same problems I did when I first started in the cloud:

  1. Add names to your security groups that are descriptive such as Linux_MySQL or Linux_PostgreSQL for the above two.
  2. when launching a new instance, you can reuse security groups, but it seems as if they do not show up in the manage console….well they do, but they will say “no rules”, but yet they work, so this is something I will follow up on in other posts as I learn more.

Postgresql Rename Table

This is a post on how to rename a table in PostgreSQL from the command line. PostgreSQL is a command line rich database application. It does have GUIs available, but most webmasters find it easier to do most database management tasks from the command line or from the psql command prompt.

Command line command to rename table:

First from a command prompt, type:

psql table_name

You will be given a psql command prompt after using the above command line command. Now enter the following command from the psql command prompt:

ALTER TABLE distributors RENAME TO suppliers;


Remove Duplicate Rows from Postgresql Database

In this short tutorial, I will demonstrate how to remove duplicate rows in a postgresql table.

Remove duplicate rows from command line

Log into your server via ssh or open a terminal window and issue the following commands:

To log into psql use the following command from command prompt:

psql database_name

Then from the psql command prompt enter something like this:

DELETE FROM users_with_dups
WHERE  affid NOT IN (SELECT MAX(affid)
                  FROM   users_with_dups
                  GROUP  BY usernm,
                  HAVING MAX(affid) IS NOT NULL)

Of course, in the above query, you will have to change the table name values(two of them which will be the same) and the id column name as well as the group by column names.

Access Table Data from PSQL in PostgreSQL

In order to access data in a PostgreSQL table to view values stored, follow these detailed instructions.

  1. Open a command prompt to your server. I used Putty.
  2. switch to a database user with appropriate privileges. I switched to postgres user with: su postgres and enter your pass. mine starts with a “g”(hint for me:-))
  3. enter psql with: psql databasename
  4. at the psql command prompt enter: SELECT * FROM tablename;

That will show you all the data in the table on the command line.

Getting the Size of a Postgresql Database

Get size of postgresql Database

To get the size of a table go into psql and use the following command:

SELECT pg_database_size(‘db_name’);

Simpley replace db_name with the name of the database you want to get the size of and it will return the size in bytes.

The above command shows you the size in bytes which is difficult to read on larger databases, so use the human readable size function like this to get it in a more friendly format:

SELECT pg_size_pretty(pg_database_size(‘db_name’));

Renaming a Postgresql Database

How to rename a postgresql database

Gain access via Linux command line. I use Putty.

Get int psql by issuing the command without naming a database like this:


Then issue the following command and press enter:

ALTER DATABASE orig_name RENAME TO new_name;

change orig_name to your original database name and new_name to the new database name you want to rename it to.

Check that it was successful by typing this at psql prompt:


and it will give you something like the following output:

Screenshot after renaming maximize_master to maximize_master1


Backing Up Postgresql Tables One at a Time

How to backup a single postgresql table with pg_dump

Here are the commands I found to work best in postgresql version 8.4:

commands to copy tables to /home/raid temp
#change dir to tmp:
cd /tmp
#change user to postgres
su postgres
#enter password:
#enter the following sql command replacing did_serial with actual table name:
pg_dump -a -t did_serial -f did_serial.sql maximize_master


Restoring Postgresql Database with pg_restore

pg_dump restore with pg_restore

In order to restore a postgresql .dump file made with page_dump that was done with the -Fc parameters, as in the following example:

pg_dump -Fc mydb > db.dump

To restore a dump that used the above command, use the following pg_restore command at command line

pg_restore -C -d postgres db.dump

Where C parameter means to create table and d parameter is the database. postgres can be any database name in the cluster. You have to provide another database name even though it gets the actual database name from the dump file. Don’t worry, it won’t rename the database postgres, it just needs to postgres database to create the new database for some reason.

I also wanted to try the -O option because ownership of the tables was all messed up so I tried:

pg_restore -O -C -d postgres db.dump

The reason for the -O option was that when I transferred the first time, the database has users and roles that didn’t exist on the new server, so the -O option makes it owner neutral, which seems to have solved the issue.

Tips and tricks:

  • use the df -h command on a second terminal window to see if the database is loading. On larger databases, like the one I did recently which was a 15 gig backup file, it will hang on the pg_restore command seemingly indefinitely. You can type [df -h] in a second command line interface to monitor progress. Do it once then do it again and compare to see that there is more disc space being used. that is the technique I used to verify that the pg_restore command was working.
  • Errors – When I did this I got an error saying:
    pg_restore.bin: [archiver (db)] Error while PROCESSING TOC:
    pg_restore.bin: [archiver (db)] Error from TOC entry 2672; 2612 4376101 PROCEDURAL LANGUAGE plpgsql postgres
    pg_restore.bin: [archiver (db)] could not execute query: ERROR:  language “plpgsql” already exists
        Command was: CREATE PROCEDURAL LANGUAGE plpgsql;
    but that is just because the database already had the plpsql language in it which is not a big deal and shouldn’t mess up anything, so just ignore the error and patiently wait for pg_restore to finish.
  • Leave the command prompt alone – It seems like I messed up one restore session by messing around with keyboard when the focus was on the terminal window where I did the pg_restore command from, so to avoid the likelihood of this happening, leave the terminal window alone until it returns a new command prompt indicating that it has finished.
  • Missing Data – if something went wtong and some tables are missing data. you can do what I did and do a backup for each table that is messed up. Use the following command to pg_dump just the table you need from the original database server:enter the following sql command replacing did_serial with a table name:
    pg_dump -a -t table_name -f table_name.sql db_name
    replace table_name and db_name with the table and database names respectively. Then download the file to your desktop, open it and take out everything before the the copy command and save it. upload to new server and issue following command:
  • psql db_name < table_name.sqlNOTE: you have to be in the directory of table_name.sql or use the path before it.