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Life Line

Xdebug Update: October 2019

Another month, another monthly update where I explain what happened with Xdebug development in this past month. It will be published on the first Tuesday after the 5th of each month. Patreon supporters will get it earlier, on the first of each month. You can become a patron here to support my work on Xdebug. More supporters, means that I can dedicate more of my time to improving Xdebug.

In October, I worked on Xdebug for about 35 hours, on the following things:

Xdebug 2.8.0 Release

With all the outstanding tickets for 2.8.0dev out of the way, and the release of PHP 7.4 coming at the end of next month, I felt it was right to release Xdebug 2.8.0 on Halloween, yay! 👻

I did not feel the need to make a Release Candidate, as my experience tells me that nobody tests these anyway. I therefore expect to have to make a bug fix release (2.8.1) not too long after PHP 7.4 comes out, as I suspect that some minor bugs and/or inconsistencies with PHP 7.4 will come to light.

Xdebug 3 development

I have continued with the development of Xdebug 3, and am now about 70% done splitting out the different features into more separated modules. When that is done, I can begin to work on improving the initialisation of each module to make sure only the least amount of work is done by Xdebug. During this phase, I expect that some configurations settings are going to change, to prepare the way for having to put Xdebug into a specific mode. However, I do not think that I will start working on this before December, as November is full with travel to conferences. Come and say hi if you're at any of them!

Business Supporter Scheme and Funding

I have had minimal interest for the Business Supporter Scheme that I launched last month. I am a little bit disappointed in this, as I believe that in order to be able to continue to work on Xdebug (instead of having to take a real job), the support from many businesses is really important.

Having said that, during the month, both JetBrains (purveyors of fine IDEs such as PhpStorm) and Automattic (purveyors of have agreed to fund part of my work on Xdebug. JetBrains has agreed to do this for three months, and their funding is reflected in my log. Automattic agree to fund part of my work for a year, and this will show up from next month's log. Thanks!

This month's new supporters are JetBrains, and Automattic. Thanks!

Besides business support, and in addition to Patreon, I was also accepted for GitHub sponsors. The functionality that they provide is not up to par with Patreon, so I will continue to use the latter for exclusive treats like videos and earlier access to information (like this report). However, if you are currently considering chipping in, then GitHub sponsors provides another way of doing so. As they are not paying out anything until after 3 months, this source does not yet feature in the log.


I have been continuing with the PHP Internals News podcast. In this weekly podcast, I discuss in 15-30 minutes, proposed new features to the PHP language with fellow PHP internals developers. It is available on Spotify and iTunes, and through an RSS Feed. Let me know if you are a listener!


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