50 Useful PHP Tools

Awhile ago, I found a nice web development website called Smashing Magazine (external link). The vast majority of their content consists of top 10, top 50, and top 100 lists of information and tools that are of interest to web designers. Most of these lists are generally not of interest to me; however, one of them really stood out as being a useful list that I could use. The list is of their top 50 PHP tools (external link), ranging from debugging tools to PHP frameworks, is particularly useful. One of my favourite tools that is listed is one that I've just began using called Xdebug.

Xdebug (external link) allows you to (unsurprisingly) debug your PHP programs. Once you have installed the PHP add-on and a suitable add-on for your preferred text editor (I use Notepad++, which works fairly well), you can set breakpoints in your program and then view the values of variables at those points. It allows you to step through complex loops and to see how the variable values change, which saves you printing out all the values of each variable as the loop progresses. You can also set watches on variables and view a list of all variables in the local and global scopes.

Take a look at the full article (external link) to see what catches your eye. There are some really useful tools in there!


  • Netbeans has integrated xdebug quite well into the IDE; there's no profiling support, but the debugging support is done quite nicely.

    It was quite easy to setup with XAMPP.

    Posted by -=Hero Doug=- on Mon 2 Feb 2009 at 22:30