Re: tutorial on writing debuggers? (John Robbins)
29 Apr 1996 22:58:12 -0400

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From: (John Robbins)
Newsgroups: comp.compilers
Date: 29 Apr 1996 22:58:12 -0400
Organization: Nu-Mega Technologies, Inc
References: 96-04-130
Keywords: debug


>I need a pointer to a reference that discusses the nuts & bolts of
>writing debuggers ... Especially in a PC/Windows environment.

Wow, something on comp.compilers that I can answer! I write
debuggers for Windows NT and Windows 95 and, unfortunately, there is
not a great deal of "tutorial" level help out there. There are a few
samples included with the Win32 SDK (DEB is the best one) that shows
how to use the Debug API. That's about all that it does, as it
basically requires a great deal of knowledge about Win32 to understand
some of the gyrations that it goes through to keep the UI synchronized
with the debugging thread. At least it is source and generally works.

Al Stevens, the C/C++ writer for Dr. Dobbs, is writing a
series of articles on a Win32 debugger writing as part of his Quincy
project. He and I exchanged so email about the best way to handle the
debugger thread synchronization which he will be covering in the next
Dr. Dobbs (June, I think). Also, about two years ago there was an
article in Windows Developer's Journal about writing a basic Win32
debugger but off the top of my head, I cannot remember who wrote it.

Getting the basic debugging thread up and running is generally
pretty straight forward if you are proficient at Win32 multithreaded
programming but handling the debug symbols is a different matter all
together. Just figuring out all of the CodeView and PDB gyrations is
not for the faint of heart. The debug spec is on the MSDN CD. No
matter what you end up doing, you should have the MSDN CD.

Good luck and welcome to the world of the undocumented!

John Robbins
Nu-Mega Technologies, Inc The penguins
9 Townsend West speak for the
Nashua, NH 03063 company, not me.

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