Debugging a Web application is one of the most tedious and frustrating tasks in PHP development. In recent years, the task has grown only more difficult with the integration of increasingly complex databases, elaborate user authentication and privilege management solutions, and third-party Web services. Yet many PHP developers are still using debugging strategies that haven't been effective for a decade.
In his PHPBuilder article, Four Sane Solutions for PHP Debugging, Jason Gilmore lists four powerful PHP debugging solutions that will have an immediate impact on your productivity. He writes:
While inserting echo statements into code in order to inspect variable data may serve to provide one with a sense of immediate gratification, the reality is that this approach is highly inefficient.
The four solutions Gilmore presents employ powerful tools such as XDebug, FireBug, FirePHP and PHPUnit, as well as lesser known techniques that will help you overcome less-than-perfect PHP code.