I'd like to understand how Drupal core works by tracing core logic and how functions unfold. I installed Netbeans with xdebugger and started a new project. The project includes drupal installation run on localhost. I read several Netbeans quickstart manuals and began studying core by putting breakpoints. But when I start debugging the project they do not seem to work. Please explain any productive approach for studying drupal 7 core logic using Netbeans with Xdebug?


  • Is your xdebug setup working properly?
    – m1n0
    Feb 3 '14 at 19:42
  • I believe that it works properly. How can I check this? Feb 3 '14 at 20:11
  • Debug session starts, drupal runs, i can step into and out functions. Feb 3 '14 at 20:13
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    So what exactly is the problem? You stated that "But when I start debugging the project they do not seem to work." but now you say that you can step into and out functions.
    – m1n0
    Feb 3 '14 at 20:20
  • I tried to formulate a general question on how to study Drupal core using Netbeans and xdebug. Should I follow function by function from index.php? How can I understand Drupal core logic? I read Drupal documentation, but it is devoted to specific APIs. Feb 3 '14 at 20:47

In my opinion, studying drupal core using netbeans and xdebug is somewhat too overwhelming. Starting in index.php will lead you through the whole bootstrap and other parts which do not need to be studied by someone who is starting to understand drupal. The most important parts to be familiar with are menu system and node system. These two parts are the basic building blocks on which you can build further (entities, taxonomy etc.). To study these, I would recommend the combination of 3 approaches:

I think xdebug comes later into this mix because it is a debugging tool (by definition) and even though jumping from function to function, from module to module can give you some understading of the flow of things, it is usually easier to just check it out in the documentation.

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    not have enough reputation yet to do this) Feb 3 '14 at 21:49
  • ah ok then, thanks for cooperation, if you have any further questions regarding this topic, let me know
    – m1n0
    Feb 3 '14 at 22:11
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    thanks, I earned enough credits and upvoted your answer) Feb 4 '14 at 3:26

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