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Review: the xdebug_time_index() function - PHP

If you’re a PHP programmer looking for a comprehensive guide to using the most relevant functions that come with the X-debug extension, then this set of articles might be what you need. Welcome to the last part of a series focusing on debugging in PHP with the Xdebug extension. In seven approachable parts, this series gets you started utilizing this library's numerous features by way of a hands-on approach.

  1. Tracking a Stack of Function Calls with the Xdebug Extension
  2. Review: the xdebug_time_index() function
  3. Retrieving information with the xdebug_get_function_stack() function
  4. Displaying the contents of the stack of function calls
By: Alejandro Gervasio
Rating: starstarstarstarstar / 2
March 16, 2009

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First, I'd like to quickly review the practical example developed in the preceding article of this series, in case you haven't had a chance to read that article. The example was aimed at demonstrating how to use the “xdebug_time_index()” function for building a pair of timing scripts.

That being said, here are the two code samples that create those timing scripts. Have a look at them, please:

(example on using the 'xdebug_time_index()' function within a procedural script)

echo 'Starting time : '.xdebug_time_index().'<br />';


// do nothing



echo 'Total script execution time : '.xdebug_time_index();

/* displays the following

Starting time : 0.001168966293335

Total script execution time : 3.9993019104004


(example on using the 'xdebug_time_index()' function within an object-based script)

class Timer{

public function __construct(){}

public function getTime(){

return xdebug_time_index();



$timer=new Timer();

echo 'Starting time :'.$timer->getTime().'<br />';




echo 'Total script execution time :'.$timer->getTime();

/* displays the following

Starting time :0.0012168884277344

Total script execution time :5.9927868843079


As you can see, the examples listed above illustrate how to use the “xdebug_time_index()” function to build a few primitive timing applications. In the first case, the function is utilized in the context of a procedural script, while the second example is a bit more interesting, since it shows how to create a basic timer class by using the function. Quite simple to grasp, right?

Hopefully, at this point you already realized how useful the “xdebug_time_index()” function can be when it comes to calculating the execution time of a certain PHP application. So what's next? Well, as I said in the introduction, the Xdebug extension includes yet another handy function, named “xdebug_get_function_stack(),” that permits us to explore with relative ease the stack of function calls generated when a script is parsed by the PHP engine.

Therefore, in the next section I’ll be explaining how to use this function in a concrete situation. In fact, I'll use a hands-on example to demonstrate it explicitly. This way, you can get a better idea of its actual functionality.

To learn how this brand new example will be developed, go ahead and read the next segment. It’s only one click away.

>>> More PHP Articles          >>> More By Alejandro Gervasio

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