II. Advanced PHP debugger
APD is the Advanced PHP Debugger. It was written to provide profiling and debugging capabilities for PHP code, as well as to provide the ability to print out a full stack backtrace. APD supports interactive debugging, but by default it writes data to trace files. It also offers event based logging so that varying levels of information (including function calls, arguments passed, timings, etc.) can be turned on or off for individual scripts.
APD is a Zend Extension, modifying the way the internals of PHP handle function calls, and thus may or may not be compatible with other Zend Extensions (for example Zend Optimizer).
APD is currently available as a PECL extension from http://pecl.php.net/package/apd. Make sure you have installed the CGI version of PHP and it is available in your current path along with the phpize script.
Run the following command to download, build, and install the latest stable version of APD:
pear install apd
This automatically installs the APD Zend module into your PHP extensions directory. It is not mandatory to keep it there; you can store the module in any directory PHP can read as long as you set the zend_extension parameter accordingly.
Windows users can download the extension dll php_apd.dll from http://snaps.php.net/win32/PECL_STABLE/.
In your INI file, add the following lines:
zend_extension = /absolute/path/to/apd.so apd.dumpdir = /absolute/path/to/trace/directory apd.statement_trace = 0
Depending on your PHP build, the zend_extension directive can be one of the following:
zend_extension (non ZTS, non debug build) zend_extension_ts ( ZTS, non debug build) zend_extension_debug (non ZTS, debug build) zend_extension_debug_ts ( ZTS, debug build)
To build APD under Windows you need a working PHP compilation environment as described on http://php.net/ -- basically, it requires you to have Microsoft Visual C++, win32build.zip, bison/flex, and some know how to get it to work. Also ensure that adp.dsp has DOS line endings; if it has unix line endings, Microsoft Visual C++ will complain about it.
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- apd.dumpdir string
Sets the directory in which APD writes profile dump files. You can specify an absolute path or a relative path.
You can specify a different directory as an argument to apd_set_pprof_trace().
- apd.statement_trace boolean
Specfies whether or not to do per-line tracings. Turning this on (1) will impact the performance of your application.
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As the first line of your PHP script, call the apd_set_pprof_trace() function to start the trace:
You can insert the line anywhere in your script, but if you do not start tracing at the beginning of your script you discard profile data that might otherwise lead you to a performance bottleneck.
Now run your script. The dump output will be written to apd.dumpdir/pprof_pid.ext.
Tip: If you're running the CGI version of PHP, you will need to add the '-e' flag to enable extended information for apd to work properly. For example: php -e -f script.php
To display formatted profile data, issue the pprofp command with the sort and display options of your choice. The formatted output will look something like:
bash-2.05b$ pprofp -R /tmp/pprof.22141.0 Trace for /home/dan/testapd.php Total Elapsed Time = 0.00 Total System Time = 0.00 Total User Time = 0.00 Real User System secs/ cumm %Time (excl/cumm) (excl/cumm) (excl/cumm) Calls call s/call Memory Usage Name -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 100.0 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 1 0.0000 0.0009 0 main 56.9 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 1 0.0005 0.0005 0 apd_set_pprof_trace 28.0 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 10 0.0000 0.0000 0 preg_replace 14.3 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 10 0.0000 0.0000 0 str_replace
The -R option used in this example sorts the profile table by the amount of real time the script spent executing a given function. The "cumm call" column reveals how many times each function was called, and the "s/call" column reveals how many seconds each call to the function required, on average.
To generate a calltree file that you can import into the KCacheGrind profile analysis application, issue the pprof2calltree comand.
- apd_breakpoint -- Stops the interpreter and waits on a CR from the socket
- apd_callstack -- Returns the current call stack as an array
- apd_clunk -- Throw a warning and a callstack
- apd_continue -- Restarts the interpreter
- apd_croak -- Throw an error, a callstack and then exit
- apd_dump_function_table -- Outputs the current function table
- apd_dump_persistent_resources -- Return all persistent resources as an array
- apd_dump_regular_resources -- Return all current regular resources as an array
- apd_echo -- Echo to the debugging socket
- apd_get_active_symbols -- Get an array of the current variables names in the local scope
- apd_set_pprof_trace -- Starts the session debugging
- apd_set_session_trace -- Starts the session debugging
- apd_set_session -- Changes or sets the current debugging level
- apd_set_socket_session_trace -- Starts the remote session debugging
- override_function -- Overrides built-in functions
- rename_function -- Renames orig_name to new_name in the global function_table
Advanced PHP debugger
Locate the root-cause of defects, fast.
If you need to locate the source of a defect in complicated web-based PHP applications with lots of conditional includes (osCommerce and Zen-Cart are reasonably complex), use APD to create a profile dump.
Then filter the dump for lines containing "!" to produce a list of included (required) files in the order they were included.
On my Win98 dev box I use: find "!" dumpfile > trace_program.txt
I use the trace_program.txt to backtrack to the root-cause of defects appearing in the browser. Great for maintaining systems you did not build yourself.
Some useful links on APD:
1. Profiling PHP Applications ( http://www.schlossnagle.org/~george/talks/Profiling-phpworks-2004.pdf ), [1.40 MB], George Schlossnagle, 2004-09-23
2. PHP Performance Profiling ( http://www.linuxjournal.com/article/7213 ), [13.16 KB], Jonathan Oxer, 2003-10-21
3. APD Wiki ( http://www.wiki.cc/php/Apd )
R. Rajesh Jeba Anbiah
If pprofp reports 'No such file or directory', it's probably because it contains an incorrect path to your php client. Open pprofp in your fav editor, edit the first line, and try again.