[xdebug-general] Using Xdebug on a live site to find dead code

From: Kendig, Brian <Brian.Kendig[@]disney.com>
Date: Tue, 4 Nov 2014 16:17:53 -0500

I'm working on a large PHP project that's sure to have a lot of dead code in it. I have been looking for a good way to identify what code is dead so that I can delete it.

I would love to be able to use Xdebug on a live web site to record what methods were called in what classes. After collecting data for a week or two, I could then look closer at any methods that weren't called at all in that time. (Note that I'm not talking about unit tests here; unit test coverage tells me nothing about real-world use.)

It seems this could be straightforward to do; I only need to call xdebug_get_code_coverage() in the teardown code at the end of a request. But that would only give me statistics for the current request, so then I'd need a way to collect this data across multiple requests, in a way that would allow multiple web server threads to update the data simultaneously. I could write it to a database, for example.

Has anyone successfully tried this approach? Or are there other ways I could use Xdebug to help find dead code?
Received on Tue Nov 04 2014 - 21:39:30 GMT

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