I was always jealous of iruby and ipython, the interactive shells for Ruby and Python. Instead of writing a script and running it through the interpreters you just execute the script line-by-line while you write it.
For debugging this is great. Compare a shell-script against the normal shell usage. It is more a ‘What if I …’ pattern instead of ‘I can write 100 lines of code without testing it’.
PHP was missing a powerful shell for a long time now. I needed one for my team at work and ‘php -a’, the interactive shell of PHP 5.0.x, is still not able to handle basic FATAL errors like ‘Function foo() not found’. So I wrote a php based interactive php-shell
The installation is simple:
$ pear install http://jan.kneschke.de/projects/php-shell/PHP_Shell-0.2.1.tgz
The installation process will install shell wrappers for Unix and Windows:
unix> php-shell.sh win> php-shell.bat
It will open your prompt, there you go.
If you are seeking for help, go to http://forum.lighttpd.net/forum/3/