A client side Glimpse into whats going on in your server
At its core Glimpse allows you to debug your PHP application right in the browser. Glimpse allows you to "Glimpse" into what's going on in your web server. In other words what Firebug is to debugging your client side code, Glimpse is to debugging your server within the client.
Fundamentally Glimpse is made up of 3 different parts, all of which are extensible and customizable for any platform:
- Glimpse Server Module (the one you are browsing right now)
- Glimpse Client Side Viewer
- Glimpse Protocol
Installing Glimpse in a PHP application is very straightforward. Glimpse is supported starting with PHP 5.2 or higher.
- For PHP 5.2, copy the source folder of this repository to your server and add <?php include '/path/to/glimpse/index.php'; ?> as early as possible in your PHP script.
- For PHP 5.3, copy the glimpse.phar file from the build folder of this repository to your server and add <?php include 'phar://path/to/glimpse.phar'; ?> as early as possible in your PHP script.
From that moment, navigate to your web application and append the ?glimpseFile=Config query string to enable/disable Glimpse. Optionally, a client name can also be specified to distinguish remote requests.
How it Works
On the Server:
- Server collects all server side information that will aid in debugging (i.e. PHP configuration, environment, session variables, trace data, etc)
- It does this by running through a pipeline of server side data providers that can be dynamically controlled and added to under plugin architecture
- Before the response is send, the server formats this data in accordance with the Glimpse Protocol and serializes it as JSON
- Depending on whether it is a Ajax request or not, the server embeds the JSON in the HTTP Header or in the content of the page
On the Client:
- Depending on whether it is a Ajax request or not, the picks up the JSON data and to the data set by executing a pipeline of client side data providers that can be dynamically controlled and added to under plugin architecture
- The client side module then dynamically renders a client side UI (similar to Firebug Lite) that lets you view this data
Glimpse can be turned on or off by a series of different mechanistic, but at its core if the Glimpse cookie is present the server will provide the "debug" data - as a security measure, the request for debug data is "authenticated". Via the plugin model, this authentication check can have any logic that is required by the site to ensure that unauthorized users don't have access to sensitive debug data.
Given the scope of the project and what it can do, the concept isn't restricted to any one platform. Hence, once mature, Glimpse Server Module will be available on all major web platforms.
Platforms currently supported:
- ASP.Net Web Forms
- ASP.Net MVC
- PHP (the one you are currently browsing)
Platforms soon to be supported supported:
- Ruby on Rails
NOTE - If you would like help develop a Glimpse Server Module for a given platform please let us know.
Details on the Glimpse protocol can be found at http://getglimpse.com/Protocol.