Re: Debugging Theory (Jacob Navia)
17 Sep 1996 22:11:33 -0400

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From: (Jacob Navia)
Newsgroups: comp.compilers
Date: 17 Sep 1996 22:11:33 -0400
Organization: Compilers Central
References: 96-09-051
Keywords: debug, comment

Ranan Fraer ( wrote:
: can anyone please recommend me some good books/papers on debugging theory ?

> There was an excellent little Macdonald/Elsevier Monograph
> on Debugging Techniques published in the middle 1970's.
> ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
> I can't say I've seen any theoretical work on debugging.
> Testing yes. I'd also be interested in anything
> in this area.

This is an incredible situation. There is no theory, no NOTHING in
this area. But thousands of papers on parsing, lexing, etc. Code
generation is well described too. What about debugging?

Software failure is THE topic in software/compiler construction. I'm
writing a debugger now, and it is incredible how little has been
written in this area!

Debuggers tend to be seen as afterthoughts of the compiler/language.
Few of them are described in the literature. Public domain debuggers
(like the popular gdb) seem to be light years behind the commercial
ones, but then those are black boxes nowhere described/documented. Of
course you can buy them ... and they even work as intended.
Jacob Navia Logiciels/Informatique
41 rue Maurice Ravel Tel (1)
93430 Villetaneuse Fax (1)
[Well, sure, lexing, parsing, and code generation are easy. Debugging is
hard. -John]

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