Hi there, just a quick note about how to stop the nightmare of Joomla 1.6 lack of debugging output.

First, you should install  Firebug for Joomla 1.6 plugin :
now you can use fb() function to log variables directly in the Firefox firebug panel.
Another nice trick I use is to put a vardie() function at the top of index.php, the function looks like this:

function vardie($var){
    var_dump($var); 
    df();
}

This (and other useful functions) can also be placed in a file called defines.php in the main folder, this file will not be overwritten on upgrades and it is automatically parsed at start.

df()is just a fake function to trigger a stack trace if you have xdebug installed (which is another must-have PHP tool).

Last but not least, Joomla uses an evil try/cacth block at the to of the application dispatcher, this makes 500 error messages completely unuseful. To fix this, you can change around line 196 in includes/application.php

// Mop up any uncaught exceptions.
catch (Exception $e)
{
    // ABP: get a decent stack trace
    vardie($e);
    $code = $e->getCode();
    JError::raiseError($code ? $code : 500, $e->getMessage());
}

this way, Joomla will dump the exception with the stack trace (remember? xdebug).

These tricks will make your debugging experience *much* easier.

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