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Debugging a Twig View

Just a quick note here to save future hunting.

Ever seen this crap error message?

An exception has been thrown during the rendering of a templat

It totally sucks, right? And then you try debugging with XDebug, only to find you can’t most of the time, since Twig uses eval().

Anyway, to save you looking, if you set a breakpoint where that message is thrown you can get to see your own Exception:


Look at line 401 (this may have changed in later versions):

} catch (Exception $e) {
    throw new Twig_Error_Runtime(sprintf('An exception has been thrown during the rendering of a template ("%s").', $e->getMessage()), -1, $this->getTemplateName(), $e);

You can now see your Exception!

In PHPStorm, you can do a regex find and replace. To upgrade a crappy old site using <?, just use the following regex:


Apple Wireless Mouse on Windows

So I left my work laptop’s PSU in Scotland. Oops! I also left my cheap mouse alongside it (I hate the touchpad thingy). So that left me with my Apple Wireless Magic Mouse, the touch sensitive one.

Once you hook it up with Bluetooth, you’ll notice the touch scroll doesn’t work. 😦
So let’s fix that!

As you know, Mac can run Windows using a thing called Bootcamp, which has the drivers we need. Download either the 32 or 64 bit version depending which Windows you are running.

Using 7-zip or something similar, right click the downloaded exe and and extract it somewhere. Once extracted, go into the BootCamp31ToBootCamp303 folder.

Look for a file called Binary.MultiTouchMouse_Bin. Right click on that, and extract the files somewhere. These are our drivers!

Once you’ve done that, run DPInst.exe, which will install the drivers.

Scroll now works! But ah! Macs scroll the opposite way around, like a touch screen, we push the page up or down. If you’d like to flip the scroll “wheel”, do the following:

  • Open Control Panel > Devices & Printers > Bluetooth Devices
  • Right click and choose Properties
  • Select HID compliant mouse, and click properties
  • Choose the Details Tab
  • Select Device Instance Path, note the value
  • Open regedit (Start > regedit)
  • System
  • Current Control Set
  • Enum
  • HID
  • Now follow the device instance path from the mouse properties
  • Device Parameters
  • Double Click FlipFlopWheel
  • Change 0 to 1 (turn flip flop wheel on)
  • Now disconnect and reconnect your mouse

Your mouse now works exactly the same way in Windows as it does on your Mac. Have fun!

DOMDocuments are cool, and a really nice way of dealing with HTML in an OO fashion. However, sometimes, we have an HTML string element which we need to add to our Document. Here’s how you do it:

    function createNodesFromHTML(DOMDocument $doc,$str) 
        $nodes = array();
        $d = new DOMDocument();
        $child = $d->documentElement->firstChild->firstChild;
        while($child) {
            $nodes[] = $doc->importNode($child,true);
            $child = $child->nextSibling;
        return $nodes;

        $dom = new DOMDocument();
        $icon = '<i class="fa fa-remove"></i>'; // This is our string

        $button = $dom->createElement('a');
        $button->setAttribute('href', '/whatever/delete/12345');
        $button->setAttribute('class', 'btn btn-sm btn-danger');
        // This is us turning the string(s) into nodes we can add
        $nodes = createNodesFromHTML($dom, $icon);
        echo $dom->saveHTML();

As any decent developer knows, register_globals was a terrible idea, a security risk, and turned ON by default in old versions of PHP!

Thankfully it was removed in PHP 5.4. However, if you are stuck developing on a site that used register_globals, you may find yourself in a situation where seemingly you can’t upgrade beyond PHP 5.3.

However, it’s not all bad news, we can put a piece of code in place which emulates register_globals. This will let us turn it off. It still means your code is less than secure, but of course that’ll be fixed in time as you upgrade and refactor the site, right?

To emulate register_globals, just add the following code to one of your initialisation/bootstrap scripts:

// Emulate register_globals on
if (!ini_get('register_globals')) {
    $superglobals = array($_SERVER, $_ENV,
        $_FILES, $_COOKIE, $_POST, $_GET);
    if (isset($_SESSION)) {
        array_unshift($superglobals, $_SESSION);
    foreach ($superglobals as $superglobal) {
        extract($superglobal, EXTR_SKIP);

Now you can turn it off in php.ini. Why is it so bad though? Well, have a look at this:


Looks like nothing should happen on that page, right? nothing has been defined.

WRONG! try adding ?loggedIn=anything to the end of the URL:


I was looking for a CSV plugin for PHPStorm, but it turns out there is no need. Open your CSV (which you associate with a plain text file), right click, and select edit as table!

Notice how much better that looks!


Just a quick one! We all know and love Firebug, but you might get annoyed when you right click to inspect element, only to find you clicked on ‘Inspect Element (Q)’ instead of ‘Inspect Element with Firebug’. So lets get rid of the one we don’t use!


It’s real easy. Browse to about:config, and proceed past the warning.


Set extensions.firebug.hideDefaultInspector to true.
Set devtools.inspector.enabled to false.
Problem solved!



“Seriously, I can’t get anything done in this office thanks to their draconian proxy configuration, everything is blocked!”

Sound familiar? If you are a web developer, you need unrestricted access, right? So let’s sort that out. I’m assuming you have a linux web server that isn’t locked down outwith the network that you can putty into.

Open Putty! Choose SSH > Tunnels. Add a dynamic port 7777 (or whatever) (ignore the 10139, that’s my debugger port) and save the settings.


Now go into Chrome settings, click advanced, Change Proxy Settings, LAN Settings, Advanced.
Then in Socks, enter localhost and your port (7777).


You can now browse every web site again! 😀

Need IRC too? same deal. I use Pidgin. Open Pidgin, then click the Accounts menu, Manage Accounts, click on your account, click modify, click Proxy, choose SOCKS5 as the proxy type, then enter localhost and 7777, as below:


You are now on IRC again!

Now, Git. All that is required to get git working is to add the socks5 proxy:

git config --global http.proxy 'socks5://'

And now you can clone repositories with no problem!

Okay, I finally got everything unrestricted in the CLI too, by using a piece of software called ProxyCap. Check it out:



 connection works

Just a quick note here, if you are running out of space on your Linux machine and need to find the files taking up the most room, try this command!

du -hsx * | sort -rh | head -10

3.9G    logs
85M     vendor
79M     utils
71M     sales
43M     products
27M     src
23M     classes
15M     images
14M     forms
12M     yui

Now that my VM is completely configured through puPHPet’s puphpet/files/exec-once shell scripts, I had to change PHP settings for the legacy 5.3 install. At first I echoed the setting out and concatenated it onto the end of the string, however the setting was already uncommented above.

The answer is to use sed to find and replace the line of text, like this!

cat /etc/php.ini | sed -e "s/short_open_tag = Off/short_open_tag = On/" >> /etc/php.ini