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