Debugger and MI (Was: Auto-show of debugger windows)

Vladimir Prus ghost at
Wed Sep 7 06:59:45 BST 2005

On Wednesday 07 September 2005 01:10, Alexander Dymo wrote:
> > I'm not awere if current Kate can do this, either, and suspect that no. I
> > hope that in KDE4 both variable tooltips and interleaved asm source will
> > be possible, but KDE4
> > is so distant....
> That's why we should start now, considering how much is to be done...
> More seriously, would you like to take over gdb frontend.

We talked with jbb about it and I said I can't yet officially "take it over",
because I'm not yet 100% certain I'll have the time. For a couple of month 
I'll be working on debugger for sure.

> There're several things to be done for kde4 and the main task is to
> investigate if gdb frontend should be rewritten using gdb-mi interface
> current state:
> - mi is not finished and changing, we will not be able to interact
> with previous gdb versions (is it a problem considering kde4 timeframe?)
> + mi frontend will be much faster (no regexp-based parsing, eclipse already
> has gdb frontend which is just fast) and easier to hack (?)
> Also debugger should not be tied to c/c++ and debugger interface should be
> easily reusable by other (non-gdb) frontends (ruby, etc.).
> What do you think?

Regarding MI: I'm looking at it as I go, and still have serious concerns.

In short, while MI is supposed to be formal protocol, there's no formal 
specification, no formal grammar, very little documentation, some documented 
things are not implemented, or don't work exactly as expected, and there's 
little hope that this will change.

It probably has some killer features which are not possible in TUI, but I'm 
not aware about it. 

Also, are you sure performance of MI is any different from TUI? You still need 
to parse MI responses, and the expression values in MI have the *same* syntax 
as in TUI -- you still need to regexp them.

About unified debugger -- that would be nice. But I simply can't comment if 
that's possible -- I don't know all the differences with Ruby, and I think 
that say, Python debugging, will be very different. To begin with, you can 
use gdb interface when debugging Python ;-)

- Volodya

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