Ext Direct errors

Note to self: when Ext Direct calls start failing, look in the request headers for error messages.  I'm not sure whether it's Ext itself or just our framework, but for whatever reason, Ext Direct calls seem to more or less swallow server-side errors.

In this particular case, I was experimenting with some of the code that our in-house development framework uses to render maps.  We have OpenLayers on the front-end a custom PHP back-end that we communicate with in part through Ext Direct, which is the handy-dandy AJAX RPC framework that comes packaged with Sencha's ExtJS.

So anyway, I made some changes, reloaded the page, and all my Ext Direct calls were failing.  No meaningful error messages, nothing in the JavaScript console, and the response body was just empty.  So what the heck was happening?  (Yeah, I know, I could have just run the unit tests, since we actually have unit tests for the framework code.  But that didn't occur to me because so much of the application code is missing them and I was just experimenting anyway.  Get off my back!) 

Then I noticed, just by chance, that the request headers in the network tab of Chrome's dev tools looked weird.  In particular, it contained this header:
X-Powered-By:PHP/5.3.21 Missing argument 1 for...

So that's what happened to the error message — it got dumped into the headers.  Not terribly helpful, but good to know.

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