Debugging is one part tools, and one part process.
Debugging tools can help you gather additional information about the state and context of your application when performing different tasks. There are generally two reasons that you're interested in tools for debugging Drupal: either your site or some specific feature isn't working, or you're ready to take a peek behind the curtain and learn more about how a specific feature works.
Knowing what to look for, and where to start looking, requires practice and a methodical approach. As you become more familiar with Drupal, debugging will become faster and easier as you'll recognize common symptoms and know how to treat them.
Additionally, we firmly believe that stepping through the code using tools like a debugger or analyzing what your code is doing with a profiler is one of the best ways to truly understand Drupal's APIs.
- Figure out why your Drupal site is displaying a white screen of death
- Locate problems in code so that you can fix them
- Learn how a feature or API in Drupal works by stepping through the code as it executes
New tools to assist with debugging will continue to be developed. At the same time, existing tools are unlikely to become irrelevant anytime soon--especially those that are not Drupal-specific.
Here's an example of an assumption; The sun will rise tomorrow. An assumption is something that is accepted as true or as certain to happen, without proof. This kind of thinking, while convenient, is prone to concealing facts, and troublesome when debugging code. This article defines what an assumption is, and provides some techniques for helping to eliminate them during debugging.
Debugging is a discipline that requires patience, and a fervent attention to detail. In the often times fast paced world of software development, when we're faced with deadlines, and an ever growing list of new features to add, and bugs to resolve, it can be a difficult to slow down and proceed in a meticulous, measured fashion. When it comes to solving difficult problems though, this fastidious approach is exactly what's required to locate, and resolve, a problem's root cause.