This is part 3 of 4 in blog series about using an IDE for PHP Development. Find part 1 here and and part 2 here. Please join our lead developer, Stefen Abrams as he explores IDE’s and their use in more detail. 


You’ll never var_dump and exit again

For this developer, it was Xdebug that forced the matter in the first place. Xdebug allows you to set breakpoints, step through your program and examine the innards, as is the case with any respectable development environment. PHP has had this capability for a very long time, but it hasn’t always been well-integrated nor well-used. There are standalone clients, separate from your editor, which allow you to do so in an awkward and unintuitive manner, and there are plugins for general-purpose editors which, in our experience, are not much better.

The typical PHP application’s run cycle is uniquely suited to the sort of workarounds which, after almost 20 years hacking on PHP, might seem totally natural to you, but interactive debugging is one of those things which, if you’ve spent years working with on the bare metal without it, you won’t even know you’ve been missing until it’s part of your regular workflow and you cannot live without it.

And for those new hires? It may be a lifesaver.

Please join us for our final instalment tomorrow on what your options are for IDE’s.

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