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Xdebug Update: December 2021

In this monthly update I explain what happened with Xdebug development in this past month. These will be published on the first Tuesday after the 5th of each month.

Patreon and GitHub supporters will get it earlier, around the first of each month.

You can become a patron or support me through GitHub Sponsors. I am currently 46% towards my $2,500 per month goal. If you are leading a team or company, then it is also possible to support Xdebug through a subscription.

In December, I worked on Xdebug directly for only about 26 hours, with funding being around 21 hours. Please become a supporter of Xdebug through Patreon or GitHub.

Xdebug 3.1 and further

On the first of the month, I released Xdebug 3.1.2.

It addresses a few crash bugs related to PHP 8.1 fibers, a crash bug when Xdebug can't write a profiler file, and an issue with Xdebug's var_dump() not using the magic __debugInfo method.

The full list of changes can be found on the updates page on the Xdebug website.

Since Xdebug 3.1.2 I have fixed a few more bugs, which are not yet in a released version. One fix pertains to the debugger generating not-well-formed XML, and another one improves performance with long strings in the debugger.

I spend most of my time in December to investigate issues that have not yet been solved. One of them turned to be a change in PHP behaviour between PHP 8.0 and 8.1. In PHP 8.0 and earlier, the $_GLOBALS[] superglobal also had a key GLOBALS, which PHP 8.1 no longer has. PhpStorm was reading values for its watch feature, from the GLOBALS context, but also added the extra (unnecessary) GLOBALS array element to read out the real variables. Fixing this in Xdebug is complex, so hopefully this will be addressed in the next version of PhpStorm itself.

The second issue turned out to be an issue with PHP-FPM, which is not strictly following PHP's processing model. This can cause a discrepancy between PHP-FPM's control and worker processes, where they do not agree what the value of the xdebug.mode INI setting is. Ideally this should get fixed in PHP-FPM, but there are further issues that both PHP-FPM and Xdebug probably need changes for.

Xdebug Cloud

To help with funding my work on Xdebug, I have a paid-for-service, called Xdebug Cloud.

Xdebug Cloud is the Proxy As A Service platform to allow for debugging in more scenarios, where it is hard, or impossible, to have Xdebug make a connection to the IDE. It is continuing to operate as Beta release.

Packages start at £49/month, and revenue will be used to further the development of Xdebug.

If you want to be kept up to date with Xdebug Cloud, please sign up to the mailinglist, which I will use to send out an update not more than once a month.

Xdebug Videos

I did not create any new Xdebug videos this month on my YouTube channel. But I am working on a more thought out set of instructional videos. Stay Tuned!

If you would like to suggest a topic for a 5 to 15 minute long video, feel free to request them through this Google Form.

Business Supporter Scheme and Funding

In December, two new business supporter signed up:

Thank you!

If you, or your company, would also like to support Xdebug, head over to the support page!

Besides business support, I also maintain a Patreon page and a profile on GitHub sponsors.


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