Improving variables view

jbb jbb at
Tue Jun 7 10:25:06 UTC 2005

On Mon, 06 Jun 2005 21:04, Vladimir Prus wrote:
> Hello,
> I've some ideas for improving the variables view, and would like to
> discuss them here.
> 1. The first proposal is to remove the frames from the variables view.
> The rationale is that
>    - there's already framestack widget to select a frame
>    - it leads to
>    - the overall look is a bit cluttered
> If frames are removed, then variables view will just update whenever you
> select a different frame, showing locals of that frame.


> 2. Probably it's just me, but when I started playing with kdevelop's
> debugger, the most uniniutive thing for me was "how do I print the value of
> an expression". Yes, there is "add watch" functionality but in command line
> gdb: - the corresponding feature is called "display", and "watch" is
> breakpoint of variable change

Yes we use "watch". Maybe this should be changed. hmm...

> - I use both "print" and "display"; sometime I just want to look at a value
>   of expression and don't need it after that.
> I realize that in GUI we have more space, so displaying several expressions
> is not that bad. But what if I don't want to update the value of
> expression? Say, I print the value of 'p' at the beginning of function and
> don't want the value to be recalculated as I step though the function? So,
> I suggest having two buttons in variables view "Evaluate" and "Watch".
> 3. Related to above, as I debug I sometime write down interesting values on
> the paper. Say "m->rules" was 0x12345678 at this point of program. Maybe,
> with GUI we can avoid using paper. Say, I enter "m->rules" and click "print
> value" button. The value is shown in var view under "recent expressions"
> title. I can click on expression and rename it to "m->rules (function
> entry)", or whatever makes sense to me. In this case, it's reasonable to
> not reevaluate the value.

Sounds like this could be called a "scratchpad". It that is so, how about 
doing something like adding a "play" icon at the start of each expression (or 
variable) in the scratchpad, which you need to press to re-evaluate. Would 
you even re-evaluate all at the same time?

> 4. Making values of variables editable would be nice.

As per your .png, do you intend to allow editing the variables directly in the 
watch window simply by clicking on the value? The breakpoint widget allows 
this but I don't know if those ideas could be reused. Just a thought.



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