On PHPMaster.com today there's a new tutorial showing you how to effectively debug your applications with Xdebug, a handy tool that provides more detail around your errors just by installing it.
Xdebug is a free and open source project by Derick Rethans and is probably one of the most useful PHP extensions. It provides more than just basic debugging support, but also stack traces, profiling, code coverage, and so on. In this article you’ll see how to install and configure Xdebug, how to debug your PHP application from Netbeans, and how to read a profiling report in KCachegrind.
He walks you through the installation process (installing it from a package, not compiling) and how to enable it in your "php.ini" configuration file. He also shows how to hook it into the debugger on your IDE (in this case Netbeans) to receive debug messages and be able to step through the code to easily locate the issues. Also included is some basic information about profiling your application and viewing the resulting data in something like Kcachegrind or Webgrind