It’s sad that in 2013, var_dump and die are still two of the most common debugging and reflection techniques in PHP.
While it has improved somewhat in PHP 5.4, the PHP interactive shell (php -a) is not compelling enough to see regular use. The de facto replacement — Facebook’s abandonware phpsh — is actually written in Python, which is a shame, since it’s both possible and practical to do it in userland PHP code.
By exploring the interactive capabilities of other programming languages, I’ll give you an idea of what is possible in an interactive shell, and the power it can bring to your development process. In this talk, we will examine the state of process control, reflection, code analysis and evaluation, and metaprogramming in PHP. I will cover practical techniques and tools which can be used today, and introduce PHP’s missing read-eval-print loop, built on the Symfony Console component.
Justin Hileman makes the Internet. He’s co-founder of Presentate, an Open Source contributor, a full-contact hackathon enthusiast.
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