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[tlug] [OT] Recommendations for PHP debuggers?


Apologies for generating a lot of discussion that has been rather tangential to Linux discussion. Again, if I have strayed too far, my apologies, and please warn me.

My question this time is to do with PHP debuggers. I'm hoping there might be someone on this list who does enough PHP editing on their Linux machine with some kind of debugging software that they would recommend.

I'm hoping to find advice here because from what I can tell on the net, most PHP debugging applications are for Windows, against what I would have expected.

For the last month I have been using Zend Studio and Zend Platform on the one month trial period. It works well enough that I was considering purchasing it.

But it's only now that I realize that the one feature that makes it worthwhile for me, the "debug server" option, is only available in the professional edition.

I'm just a lone PHP programmer doing web pages for mainly non-profit (not charitable, just extremely cash poor) organizations. The difference between the 100 US dollar standard edition and the 300 US dollar professional edition is a deal breaker.

So I'm looking around for other debugging options.

The best contender so far has been Quanta with the Gubed plug in. But it is buggy, and while I've had success in running it, I've also had as much trouble. Especially with some error messages that won't go away:

After that PHPeclipse seems good. By "seems" I mean that I've installed Eclipse and PHPeclipse and can run them and see they it has a sexy interface and all. But trying to download the DBG package that makes PHPeclipse interface with the server is a sysiphean task of trying to find any instructions anywhere that make sense.

As I'm an Ubuntu user, I tried looking up distro-specific instructions for installing DBG, and the one forum entry on the topic I found:
... says to go to this web page:
... where the installation instructions are for Windows!

There's also a package called "NuSphere", which is paid software, but also rests on the DBG debugger technology. I'm very hesitant to encounter the same difficulties in installing DBG and having to pay for it as well.

I asked once before on the PHP list about which PHP editors people recommend, which is how I heard of Eclipse.

However, now I'm asking:

Does anyone know how to get a reliable PHP graphical debugger to actually install and work on Linux?

Any tutorials or instructions available anywhere that are newbie friendly? After all, aren't the newbies the ones most likely to be the ones to use a GUI debugger?

Any advice or help would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you for your time.

Dave M G
Ubuntu 6.06 LTS
Pentium D Dual Core Processor
PHP 5, MySQL 5, Apache 2

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