Using get_defined_vars() for debugging local scope variables

May 8, 2013  |  2 Comments  |  by Raj (MagePsycho)  |  Latest, Magento

Suppose say, you want to debug variables in some observer method.
You can either log the each variable or simply dump it. But when you have many variables, debugging each variables can be an overhead task. For this purpose we can use PHP’s inbuilt function: get_defined_vars()
How to use it?

//put this line at the top of your variable declarations
$vars = get_defined_vars();

// Now your regular stuffs goes here...
$foo = 'foo';
$bar = 'bar';
$data = $model->getData();

// Only stores all the variables defined in current scope
$vars = array_diff(get_defined_vars(), $vars);

//Now you can either dump
//or keep in log
Mage::log($vars, null, 'var-debug.log', true)

This approach can be very handy in debugging any local scope variables. At least it provides an easier approach with clean code.