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Xdebug Update: June 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 55% towards my $2,000 per month goal. If you are leading a team or company, then it is also possible to support Xdebug through a subscription.

In June, I worked on Xdebug for about 48 hours, with funding being around 24 hours, which is only half.

PHP 8.1 Support

PHP 8.1 recently acquired a new Enum type, and I added support for that in Xdebug's myriad of modes, such as tracing, profiling, and debugging.

Enumerations are implemented as a special case of classes, and the step debugger was already be able to communicate these new enums. However, their name and value are displayed as normal class properties, which is less than ideal. The debugging protocol already has facilities for communicating additional information with data, which is what Xdebug now does. IDEs will need to make use of this additional information though.

I also had to make some more tweaks with regard to PHP 8.1's Fibers. Although PHP 8.1 feature freeze is coming up soon, I suspect that I will need to make more tweaks.

Xdebug 3.1

I have continued to work on the issues that were raised by the developer of the PHP Debug Adapter for Visual Studio Code. The main new addition is the xdebug_notify() function that you can use to send variables to the IDE. The IDE can then choose to display this information in a structured way.

I have not yet worked on the UNC paths issue. In order to reproduce it, I need to be able to run Windows' WSL2, which I can't do in my virtualised Windows, and I don't have (or want!) extra hardware to run Windows natively.

Xdebug Cloud

To make Xdebug Cloud applicable in more situations, I recently added the support of being to set your Cloud ID (User Key) through the browser extensions as the value of the Debug Session Name.

I have now improved Xdebug's Shared Secret for triggers, which compares the value that comes in through the browser extensions, with a value as configured in the php.ini file. Only if it matches, would the debugger initiate a connection. The new functionality allows you to specify multiple values, separated by a , as value for xdebug.trigger_value so that you can control which multiple Cloud IDs can initiate a debugging connection. This adds additional protection so that other Xdebug Cloud users with a valid ID can't use the browser extensions against third party web sites to initiate a debug session.

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 have published two more videos on how to use Xdebug on my YouTube channel.

These are:

If you would like to see a 5 to 10 minute long video on another specific topic, feel free to request them through this Google Form.

Business Supporter Scheme and Funding

In June, no new supporters signed up.

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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