Xdebug is a PHP extension which provides debugging and profiling capabilities.
It uses the DBGp debugging protocol.
There are some nice features in this tool:
var_dump()function for displaying variables
As you can see this extension is perfectly suited for development environment. Especially remote debugging feature can help you to debug your php code without numerous var_dump's and use normal debugging process as in
Usually installing of this extension is very simple:
pecl install xdebug # install from pecl/pear
And activate it into your php.ini:
In more complicated cases see this instructions
When you use this tool you should remember that:
XDebug is not suitable for production environments