Problems getting started with remote debugging

I started evaluating today PHPStorm. First thing I need to get working is debugging. So I attempted to follow the instructions, and went round and round and could not get it to work. Many times tried setting up the configuration, and then following the instructions. I finally got it to work, but only with a lot of thrashing and eventually finding the key on an Xdebug page, not a JetBrains page.

The JetBrains documentation clearly says that you can start debugging from within PS. However, it does not make clear that everything it says seems to pertain to local debugging only. That is, debugging a PHP script within PHPStorm. It never makes clear that for remote debugging (from a locally installed webserver, which is still considered "remote") that you apparently cannot start the debug session from within PS. Rather you have to start it from the browser or server.

Further it never makes clear that you must set the "ide key" to the session key provided via ?XEBUG_SESSION_START=<ide key>. I did not even find any reference to the use of ?XDEBUG_SESSION_START.

This was very frustrating, and I think there should be a section in the documentation for "Configuring and starting remote debugging". That would have saved me a lot of thrashing around. Maybe there is such a section, but I could not find it. Rather I had to thrash around with many debug configurations, xdebug documentation at http://xdebug.org/docs/remote#starting, and a message that I finally found in the console about "Waiting for incoming connection with ide key '1'". I consider this to be a certain level of hacking. I am surprised that I could not find some simple documentation covering these issues, and suspect that in fact there is some, but that I just could not find it.

There is no way on earth that would could see this called "zero-configuration debugging" as for me it was rather "huge struggle to configure debugging".

Now I can proceed to actual evalute PS!

My .02.

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