How to log and debug variables using CWebLogRoute

  1. Introduction
  2. Configuration
  3. Use
  4. Yii's firePHP function
  5. Addendum

Introduction

I have seen a couple of articles about how to integrate external libraries to debug our PHP code (i.e. firePHP) but after you read this article you will realize that there is no need for such libraries when using Yii.

Yii comes with a set of powerful classes for logging. If you have read the documentation about logging messages, you have noticed that we can actually decide which messages we wish to log. And this is exactly what we are going to do, using CWebLogRoute to create a Yii version of firePHP.

Configuration

Include the magic settings on our protected/config/main.php file:

'log'=>array(
  'class'=>'CLogRouter',
  'routes'=>array(
	array(
	'class'=>'CWebLogRoute',
        //
        // I include *trace* for the 
        // sake of the example, you can include
        // more levels separated by commas
	'levels'=>'trace',
        //
        // I include *vardump* but you
        // can include more separated by commas
	'categories'=>'vardump',
        //
        // This is self-explanatory right?
	'showInFireBug'=>true
),

Use

Ready to go, lets going to trace some vars to test it, this is how to do it:

$test = 'This is a test';

$anotherTest = array('one','two','three');

// variable
// please, check the inclusion of the category *vardump*
// not including the category, it wont display at all.
echo Yii::trace(CVarDumper::dumpAsString($test),'vardump');

// array
echo Yii::trace(CVarDumper::dumpAsString($anotherTest),'vardump');

// object
echo Yii::trace(CVarDumper::dumpAsString($this),'vardump');

Yii's firePHP function

But the above code is too long to write, lets use Qiang's suggestion. We are going to write a function in our index.php page exactly as that of firePHP:

//
// In your index.php or your globals.php file
function fb($what){
  echo Yii::trace(CVarDumper::dumpAsString($what),'vardump');
}

// 
// using the above examples now we could
$test = 'This is a test';

fb($test);

And that's it; our nice Yii PHP variable debugger and the best of all, no external libraries included.

Addendum

I forgot to mention that it also works on Chrome developer tools console.

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Version: 1.1
Category: How-tos
Tags: Logging
Written by: Antonio Ramirez
Last updated by: Antonio Ramirez
Created on: Dec 11, 2010
Last updated: 7 years ago
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