[wp-hackers] Better Error Handling for both Development and Production Servers

Jeremy Clarke jer at simianuprising.com
Sun Jan 2 18:55:04 UTC 2011

On Fri, Dec 31, 2010 at 3:37 PM, Andrew Gray <andrew at graymerica.com> wrote:

> I would love a setting to only show Fatal / parse errors when developing.
>  Something that only show these errors and ignores all the deprecated,
> notices and other errors that come from plugins and from the core wordpress
> when I was developing.  Or at lease improve the options available for
> WP-config from DEBUG only.
I've found that adding the following core-PHP definitions into wp-config.php
has the effect of showing me errors rather than the WSOD, but not all the
notices that WP_DEBUG spits out:

ini_set('display_errors', 1);
error_reporting (E_ALL);

Why not just use that on your dev installs?

Despite that I'd still favor some configurability for WP_DEBUG, maybe with
some secondary constant like WP_DEBUG_NOTICES which you could set to false
to disable them.

I personally use WP_DEBUG as much as possible and love the notices it
generates for my plugins but unless you're only working with core and no
external plugins the effect is that you are bombarded with warnings from
plugins you don't control (e.g. Supercache, proof that even core
contributors generate notices sometimes). I send out emails to the plugin
authors a lot but some are ignored and others take a long time to implement
the fixes.

Nacin is right that for your own plugins you should eliminate all notices.
It is easy to do and at least in my case I find and easily fix lots of "real
bugs" while going through and cleaning up the various "aesthetic bugs"
identified by WP_DEBUG and causing notices.

Disabling all plugins other than "the one you are working on" is often an
undesirable hack, as you end up not seeing the problematic interactions
between your plugin and the ones it will co-exist with until they are
running together on the live server. Taking Supercache as an example I think
we can all imagine how this is not ideal.

I'm not sure if we really need a solution other than GEEZ GUYS PLEASE TURN
nice. My fantasy would be that notices remain active for *my plugin* but not
others installed on the site (i.e. that while developing I can somehow flag
plugins that I am actively working on). I am not good enough at PHP to think
of a good way to do so though, so maybe that idea can just serve as an
unpractical solution to put possible but less-effective ones in perspective.

Jeremy Clarke • jeremyclarke.org
Code and Design • globalvoicesonline.org

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