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When PHP won't find existing source files

The mystery

There are a number of issues on StackOverflow and elsewhere about the problems met when upgrading to PHP 7, so when I upgraded a Debian Wheezy server this week, I only upgraded to Jessie with its standard 5.6 version, not expecting problems. But of course, there had to be this mystifying error which seems to be most often associated with PHP 7.0 : like Debian bug 709302:

[Wed May 22 14:20:26 2013] [error] [client] PHP Fatal error: require_once(): Failed opening required './libraries/php-gettext/' (include_path='.') in /usr/share/phpmyadmin/libraries/select_lang.lib.php on line 389
[Wed May 22 14:20:26 2013] [error] [client] PHP Fatal error: /require_once(): Failed opening required /'./libraries/php-gettext/' (include_path='.') in //usr/share/phpmyadmin/libraries/select_lang.lib.php on line 389
[Wed May 22 14:20:26 2013] [error] [client] PHP Fatal error: require_once(): Failed opening required './libraries/php-gettext/' (include_path='.') in /usr/share/phpmyadmin/libraries/select_lang.lib.php on line 389

So how do we fix this for 5.6 ?

Optimizing strings in PHP ?

Every so often, I get asked about whether it is really worth it to chase double quotes and constructs like print "foo $bar baz", and replace them with something like echo 'foo', $bar, 'baz', or even to remove all those big heredoc strings so convenient for large texts.

Of course, most of the time, spending hours to fine comb code in search of this will result in less of a speedup than rethinking just one SQL query, but the answer is still that, yes, in the infinitesimal scale, there is something to be gained. Even with string reformatting ? Yes, even that. But only if you are not using an optimizer.

Just don't take my word for it, Sara Golemon explained it years ago with her "How long is a piece of string" post, in 2006.

Debug vanilla

Most of the time, when working on some piece of code, I'll resort to the configured debugger in my current Zend Studio configuration. And you probably do too :-)

However, I often have to access debug-type information on live sites where installing a debugger is out of the question, and I find myself often resorting to parameter dumps like the following:

// lazy version for simple cases
function foo_bar($x, $y, $z) {
// [...]

// less lazy version for more hairy cases
function foo_baz($x, $y, $z) {
dsm(array('in foo_baz, x' => $x, 'y' => $y, 'z' => $z));
// ...

You've probably being using it too and, of course, after the first few dozen times, it becomes a bit used. So here's a tiny snippet that makes such dumps simpler to type and use :

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