Re: [INFO WANTED] Source Level Debuggers (Craig H Smith)
21 Mar 1996 23:53:11 -0500

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[INFO WANTED] Source Level Debuggers (Rob Scott) (1996-03-14)
Re: [INFO WANTED] Source Level Debuggers (1996-03-17)
Re: [INFO WANTED] Source Level Debuggers (1996-03-21)
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From: (Craig H Smith)
Newsgroups: comp.compilers
Date: 21 Mar 1996 23:53:11 -0500
Organization: University of New Hampshire
References: 96-03-092 96-03-120
Keywords: debug, summary

Rob Scott <> wrote:
> I would like pointers to information on how Source Level Debuggers work.

I requested similar information a while back. Here is a summary of
the information I received. The VAX Debug reference (see below) is
useful as is the gdb internals paper by Pizzi. Thanks again to those
who responded to my original post.

From: "George C. Lindauer" <>
Subject: Re: debugger literature

Simple command-line debuggers that don't deal with symbolic info are
pretty easy to write. Just looking through someone's code once gives
you the basics. Simple symbol tables shouldn't be much different than
what you would use in constructing a compiler... except they have to
be memory-resident at run-time. I put a debugger source on the net;
it's very like DOS DEBUG but is for 32-bit applications. You can find
it at;/pub/os-code/; it's buried in the directory
structure but the directory is called 'debugger' or 'monitor' or something
like that. I also wrote a 68K version which I'm still releasing sources
for, for the moment.

>From Fri Feb 9 11:57:26 1996

    author = "Bert Beander",
    title = "{VAX} {DEBUG}: An Interactive, Symbolic, Multilingual
    booktitle = "Proceedings of the {ACM} {SIGSOFT}/{SIGPLAN} Software
                                    Engineering Symposium on High-Level Debugging",
    year = 1983,
    organization = "{ACM}",
    month = aug

The above proceedings contain a number of useful articles.
To look at a real working debugger, gdb is a possible start. It has
some documentation of its internals:

    author = "Robert Pizzi",
    title = "{GNU} Debugger Internal Architecture",
    note = "Department of {A}pplied {S}cience, {U}niversity of
                                    {C}alifornia at {D}avis, {L}awrence {L}ivermore {N}ational
    year = 1993,
    month = dec

About dbx:

    author = "Mark A. Linton",
    title = "The Evolution of {Dbx}",
    pages = "211--220",
    booktitle = "Proceedings of the {USENIX} Summer Conference",
    year = 1990,
    organization = "{USENIX}",
    month = jun,
    note = "In Anaheim, California"

For a number of old references:

    author = "Mark Scott Johnson",
    title = "A Software Debugging Glossary",
    journal = {SIGPLAN} Notices,
    year = 1982,
    volume = 17,
    number = 2,
    pages = 53,
    month = feb

>From Fri Feb 9 03:43:46 1996
Subject: Re: debugger literature

>>>>> "Craig" == Craig H Smith <> writes:

        Craig> I'm looking for references on general debugger
        Craig> implementation -- nothing too esoteric. I've looked
        Craig> through some literature but they stay focused on the
        Craig> typical stages of compilation.

I have very few references. Here they are.

    author = {M.Golan and D.R.Hanson},
    title = {DUEL: a very high level debugging language},
    booktitle = {Proc. Winter USENIX San Diego},
    year = 1993,
    month = {jan}

    author = {U.Hotzle and C.Chambers and D.Ungar},
    title = {Debugging Optimized Code with Dynamic Deoptimization},
    booktitle = {Conf. Programming Language Design and
                                    Implementation 1992},
    editor = {ACM SIGPLAN},
    year = 1992,
    organization = {ACM},
    where = {runtime1}

    author = {A.P.Tolmach and A.W.Appel},
    title = {Debugging Standard ML without Reverse Engineering},
    booktitle = {ACM conf on Lisp & Functional Programming (Nice,
                                    France, 1990)},
    year = 1990,
    month = {june},
    where = {runtime1}

Craig Smith Personal address
Graduate Student by request only
Computer Science
University of New Hampshire
Durham, NH Carpe A Cappellam

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