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Sponsoring Xdebug

Note: This article was originally published at Planet PHP on 23 March 2011.
Planet PHP

Sponsoring Xdebug

London, UK Tuesday, March 22nd 2011, 18:30 GMT

Over the past 7 years I've spend countless hours making Xdebug an awesome development and debugging tool. I love working on it; it is a good way to get familiar with PHP's "interesting" internals, and it also helps PHP developers finding (potential) issues within their code base faster.

With the 2.0 release announcement I asked users of Xdebug to send me a postcard if they liked it; and since the 2.1 announcement I mention that it is possible to give donations through PayPal. I have received quite few postcards and donations.

Recently, an issue with KCacheGrind and Xdebug's profiler functionality became known. As an experiment Sebastian suggested to see whether it would be a good idea to set-up a pledge-like system to arrange some funding so that I can dedicate my "work time" to working on Xdebug issues and features. I set-up a campaign on Pledgie for this purpose. Both Sebastian and I expected Pledgie to work a bit different than it actually did. Instead of holding on to the pledged money until the issue was implemented, it transfered the pledges directly to my PayPal account.

Twenty-four pledges were made, in about two weeks; matching the goal. Thanks Sebastian, Jan, Michael, Pale Purple, Jeff, Christoph, Karel, Yannick, Jake, Venakis, Brian, Simon, Kenneth, DM Baker, "gizmola", Ladislav, Volker, React, Michal and three anonymous supporters!

Last night I committed several patches to the Xdebug repository, including the one that sparked the idea to set-up a pledge to fund Xdebug's profiler files. These patches, and a few others, now form part of the upcoming Xdebug 2.1.1 release. I've published the source package for the first (and most likely only) release candidate: Xdebug 2.1.1RC1. Windows binaries will follow shortly. You can also install/upgrade the release candidate through PECL: pecl install xdebug-beta or pecl upgrade xdebug-beta.

The Pledgie campaign has now been closed, but I am intending to set-up new ones for more of the elaborate features-most likely starting with one related to Xdebug's code coverage functionality. In the meanwhile, please test Xdebug 2.1.1RC1, and let me know your comments about sponsoring specific Xdebug features. I plan on releasing to write up some more thoughts about that soon. I expect Xdebug 2.1.1 to come out before the end of the month. If you think Xdebug is useful, feel free to donate as well!