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VisualForce documentation

Is there  any kind of document/guide that explains in details exactly what happens on a VF page when you click a command button?    Which gets are run, which sets are run, what exactly is rerendered, etc?  Right now, I am having to work this all out by trial and (lots of) errors.

Using your browser (firefox) examine the source code (html, javascript maushup) of your page.
I am not aware of any document that describes what Salesforce is doing behind the scene.

This sounds like you are interested in a bit more detail around the overall Visualforce life cycle - this is not something we have published much information on to date. We have only had a couple of requests for this information to date - it does of course exist internally. Can you post and idea on ideaexchange to track this and see how much interest there is? We've avoided getting to detailed for a couple of reason - mainly keeping it simple and only spending time on stuff that customers ask for. If there is interest in this we can certainly make it available.

One of the first things I did when I began VF development was to figure out the VF lifecycle, if/how/when controller instances are re-used and instantiated, how view state works, etc.  I don't know how someone would develop without knowing these things.  I'd definitely vote for getting this in the docs.

Exactly Jeremy.  Once you reach a certain level of complexity, it gets very difficult to control your VF pages unless you know exactly what happens within the controller code, and exactly WHEN it happens.  I don't consider this to be the inner workings of VF/Apex, but essential information for developing and debugging. 
Brendan LallyBrendan Lally

I find it hard 2 get stuff working and often its snippets of info on replies 2 ?'s in the forums. Most of this 'good' snippets are from internal SF support folks.
Be much easier if we had more techie docs