Ole Markus has a new post today looking at how you can catch fatal errors in your PHP applications a bit more gracefully than the usual failure messages.
In dynamic languages like PHP [errors like E_ERROR and E_PARSE] happen all the time, for example when trying to call a method on a variable you assumed was an instance of a specific class, but which for some reason suddenly was not instantiated. Not only are they often not catched, but often it is also difficult to even know that they are occurring.
His solution comes in the form of a built-in PHP function, register_shutdown_function, that executes when the PHP process is shutting down - errors or not. It takes in a callback method that has access to an exception object. You can get lots of interesting information from this object and, as in his example, log it to a file for future investigation.