On the SitePoint PHP blog Thomas Punt continues his series about how you can contribute back to the PHP language. In his previous post he talked about contributing to the PHP manual. In this latest part of the series he moves into something with a bit more complexity: contributing to the core of the language itself.
Previously, we covered contributing to PHP’s documentation. Now, we will be covering how to get involved with PHP’s core. To do this, we will be looking at the workflow for fixing a simple bug in the core.
Since submitting new features to PHP has already been explained pretty well, we will not be covering that here. Also, this article does not seek to teach PHP’s internals. For more information on that, please see my previous posts on adding features to PHP.
In this article he assumes you at least already have a working knowledge of the PHP source and how to locate/update code and execute it. He focuses instead on the bugfix process and workflow needed to:
- find a bug to fix
- create a test to reproduce the issue
- use a debugger to find the exact spot where the problem is
- and create a simple fix
In this case it's a pretty simple issue to correct, but there are much more complex things that would require more work than just a simple "if" check. This guide can help you get started on the correct workflow, however, and be sure you're handling things as the project expects.