Visual Tracing for the Eclipse Java Debugger

B. Alsallakh, P. Bodesinsky, A. Gruber, S. Miksch:
"Visual Tracing for the Eclipse Java Debugger";
in:"16th European Conference on Software Maintenance and Reengineering", T. Mens, A. Cleve, R. Ferenc (Hrg.); IEEE Computer Society, Los Alamitos, California, USA, 2012, ISBN: 978-0-7695-4666-7, S. 545 - 548.

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Abstract:


In contrast to stepping, tracing is a debugging
technique that does not suspend the execution. This technique
is more suitable for debugging programs whose correctness is
compromised by the suspension of execution. In this work we
present a tool for visually tracing Java programs in Eclipse.
Tracepoint hits are collected on a per-instance basis. This enables
finding out which tracepoints were hit for which objects at which
time. The interactive visualization provides detailed information
about the hits such as thread, stack trace, and assigned values.
We implemented the tool as an Eclipse plugin that integrates
with other features of Eclipse Java debugger. In an informal
evaluation, developers appreciated the utility of our method as
a solution in the middle between full tracing and stop-and-go
debugging. They suggested scenarios in which our tool can help
them in debugging and understanding their programs.