Originally published at: http://www.sitepoint.com/var_dump-introducing-symfony-vardumper/
Recently, Symfony went from Zend-like bloat and rigidity to extreme decoupling and modularity. With the new Developer Experience initiative, Symfony has done a Laravel-style 180° and dove right into making its components more end-user friendly, its docs more complete, and its AppBundles unbundled, simplifying entry and further development almost exponentially. Considering user friendliness, it’s a long way from “best pals friendly” but it’s definitely no longer hostile. One factor that contributes to this factor a lot is their continuous pushing out of new components that are incredibly useful outside of Symfony’s context. One such component is the new VarDumper.
You’re developing a feature. You either don’t feel like writing tests, or what you’re developing needs some variable testing in the middle of a function – something you can’t quite cover with a test. Inevitably, you resort to something like
die(var_dump($var));. Even if you’ve abstracted it into a shorthand method like
vddd($var), it’s still clumsy and unreadable, and tends to leave debugging snippets around your code, either as comments or, even worse, as code that can actually be triggered.
There’s little choice in the matter – sometimes we simply need our
vddds. And sure, if you’re an Xdebug user, you’re probably used to a slightly better looking output than the raw PHP prints. Still, few good solutions existed that beautified this output for us enough to make it worth installing a dev dependency. Until VarDumper.