I recently had to reinstall my OS, which led to me upgrading to Windows 7 (from Vista), which led to me reinstalling all of my software, which led to me upgrading some of my software. I decided to purchase and download the latest version of Zend Studio which I use for PHP development. It’s not cheap, $399, but I use it often enough that I decided if I can make my PHP development IDE better, it’s worth it (I was wrong).
Zend Studio 7 is Broken
I download and install 7.x, I previously had 5.5, and at first I’m just out of my comfort zone because it’s different. I decide to just learn the new interface and spend the next few hours getting it set up with my websites. I remotely develop via FTP. In 5 I was able to simply add the FTP servers to my left-hand pane and work with the files. You can still do this in 7, but they removed some of the features they had in 5. In 5 I could set the Initial Directory of my FTP servers. If I do not set this I have to expand 2-3 directories before I get to the actual root of my webserver. It’s not only a pain to do when you work on multiple servers, but it also increases the width that the content of my left-hand pane, making me have to scroll to the right to work with files, and back to the left to open another server. It’s just not ideal, and it’s not the same, or better, than 5.
I put up with this inconvenience and started to write some code. I had a programming task I wanted to complete and decided to jump in and perform it. As I started to type in Zend Studio 7 there was a significant delay in the screen response. As I typed the cursor was 2-3 letters behind. Because I’m a programmer, I know what is going on here. Zend is validating what I’m typing, and not doing it very well. I spent some time in the settings and turned off all of the validations (that I could find). It got better but there was still a delay, enough to bother me but I moved on. Then I noticed that when holding down the backspace key nothing happened. I could not hold down backspace and delete a few words or a complete line. The cursor would disappear and nothing would happen. I had to hit backspace over and over and over to delete a word or two.
I accepted that this wasn’t going to work out, and that I was 100% happy with Zend Studio 5, so I should just downgrade and give up on 7. I uninstalled 7, reinstalled 5, and submitted a refund request on the Zend website, and that’s where it got hairy. In an email response from Orly Maman from Zend I was told that since Zend offers a 30 day evaluation version and I had the opportunity to review the new version of the software. Because of this there are no refunds. You’ve got to be kidding me. Who in their right mind is going to test-drive an upgrade of their current software? No one. I responded that this was not acceptable, that I was not ever going to use 7, had already downgraded, and that I just wanted a refund. Same reply. So I decided to call the main U.S. office. On the phone I got the same reply. I was told that I should have read the user agreement which says there are no refunds for any reason. Completely ridiculous. I don’t even have to expand here how horrible it is for a company to operate this way, so I’ll leave it at that. Needless to say I submitted a chargeback with my credit card and the money will be returned in the end but Zend has lost a customer for sure.