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Doc Bug #77417 "About debugging in PHP" page misleading about phpdbg and more
Submitted: 2019-01-06 20:00 UTC Modified: 2019-01-09 21:49 UTC
Avg. Score:3.0 ± 0.0
Reproduced:0 of 0 (0.0%)
From: chealer at gmail dot com Assigned:
Status: Verified Package: Documentation problem
PHP Version: Irrelevant OS:
Private report: No CVE-ID: None
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 [2019-01-06 20:00 UTC] chealer at gmail dot com
The page about debugging currently contains:
PHP 5.6 is shipped with the phpdbg interactive debugger. PHP versions below 5.6 do not have an internal debugging facility though. You can use one of the external debuggers though. The » Zend IDE includes a debugger, and there are also some free debugger extensions like DBG at », the » Advanced PHP Debugger (APD) or » Xdebug. 

I am not an expert of PHP debugging, but I know this should basically be rewritten. The greatest issue is the phrasing implicitly suggests that phpdbg removes the need for earlier debugging solutions for PHP 5.6. This may be the accidental result of this page being written at several moments, or may be due to an excessive enthusiasm about phpdbg at the time of its inclusion in PHP. Now that the intentions of the phpdbg project are clearer, we know that phpdbg does not intend to replace extensions for IDE-s, as can be seen in the following pages:

Other issues with the page include:
1. It talks about PHP 5.6 only rather than PHP 5.6 and ulterior.
2. Besides the addition of phpdbg, the contents are 15 years old. APD has not compiled against a current PHP version in years.
3. The free version of DBG seems to be abandoned. It doesn't support PHP beyond 5.2. The new page to point to seems to be
4. Xdebug should be mentioned first or at least second, not last!
5. Nothing explains that solutions like Xdebug are merely extensions which constitute 1 part of a debugger. In my opinion, these should be called "debugging extensions", not "debugger extensions". Xdebug itself (without an IDE) is hardly a debugger. I find it misleading not to indicate that an IDE is needed in combination.
6. It is superfluous to start each title with "About".
7. "phpdbg interactive debugger" links to a release notes entry. It would be better to link directly to the page linked from that entry.

I believe someone who knows phpdbg better would be more qualified than I am to rewrite this page. If it was me (who never tried it), I would give it very little exposure, even though it's unfortunately the only thing integrated, at least until it is documented (see ticket #67165).

Feel free to close this ticket once the main issue has been solved, whether or not other issues remain.
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 [2019-01-09 21:49 UTC]
-Status: Open +Status: Verified
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