Debug Formatter Helper

The DebugFormatterHelper provides functions to output debug information when running an external program, for instance a process or HTTP request. For example, if you used it to output the results of running ls -la on a UNIX system, it might output something like this:

../../../_images/debug_formatter.png

Using the debug_formatter

The formatter is included in the default helper set and you can get it by calling getHelper():

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$debugFormatter = $this->getHelper('debug_formatter');

The formatter accepts strings and returns a formatted string, which you then output to the console (or even log the information or do anything else).

All methods of this helper have an identifier as the first argument. This is a unique value for each program. This way, the helper can debug information for multiple programs at the same time. When using the Process component, you probably want to use spl_object_hash.

Tip

This information is often too verbose to be shown by default. You can use verbosity levels to only show it when in debugging mode (-vvv).

Starting a Program

As soon as you start a program, you can use start() to display information that the program is started:

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// ...
$process = new Process(...);

$output->writeln($debugFormatter->start(
    spl_object_hash($process),
    'Some process description'
));

$process->run();

This will output:

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RUN Some process description

You can tweak the prefix using the third argument:

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$output->writeln($debugFormatter->start(
    spl_object_hash($process),
    'Some process description',
    'STARTED'
));
// will output:
//  STARTED Some process description

Output Progress Information

Some programs give output while they are running. This information can be shown using progress():

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use Symfony\Component\Process\Process;

// ...
$process = new Process(...);

$process->run(function ($type, $buffer) use ($output, $debugFormatter, $process) {
    $output->writeln(
        $debugFormatter->progress(
            spl_object_hash($process),
            $buffer,
            Process::ERR === $type
        )
    );
});
// ...

In case of success, this will output:

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OUT The output of the process

And this in case of failure:

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ERR The output of the process

The third argument is a boolean which tells the function if the output is error output or not. When true, the output is considered error output.

The fourth and fifth argument allow you to override the prefix for the normal output and error output respectively.

Stopping a Program

When a program is stopped, you can use stop() to notify this to the users:

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// ...
$output->writeln(
    $debugFormatter->stop(
        spl_object_hash($process),
        'Some command description',
        $process->isSuccessful()
    )
);

This will output:

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RES Some command description

In case of failure, this will be in red and in case of success it will be green.

Using multiple Programs

As said before, you can also use the helper to display more programs at the same time. Information about different programs will be shown in different colors, to make it clear which output belongs to which command.

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