Debugging Scandal: The Next Generation

Haihan Yin, Christoph Bockisch, Mehmet Aksit, Wouter De Borger, Bert Lagaisse, Wouter Joosen

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    In 1997, the general lack of debugging tools was termed "the debugging scandal". Today, as new languages are emerging to support software evolution, once more debugging support is lagging. The powerful abstractions offered by new languages are compiled away and transformed into complex synthetic structures. Current debugging tools only allow inspection in terms of this complex synthetic structure; they do not support observation of program executions in terms of the original development abstractions. In this position paper, we outline this problem and present two emerging lines of research that ease the burden for debugger implementers and enable developers to debug in terms of development abstractions. For both approaches we identify language-independent debugger components and those that must be implemented for every new language. One approach restores the abstractions by a tool external to the program. The other maintains the abstractions by using a dedicated execution environment, supporting the relevant abstractions. Both approaches have the potential of improving debugging support for new languages. We discuss the advantages and disadvantages of both approaches, outline a combination thereof and also discuss open challenges.
    Original languageUndefined
    Title of host publicationProceedings of the Workshop on Reflection, AOP and Meta-Data for Software Evolution (RAM-SE 2011)
    Place of PublicationYork, UK
    PublisherUniversity of York
    Number of pages4
    ISBN (Print)not assigned
    Publication statusPublished - Jun 2011

    Publication series

    PublisherUniversity of York


    • METIS-286288
    • EWI-21629
    • CR-D.2.5
    • IR-79916

    Cite this

    Yin, H., Bockisch, C., Aksit, M., De Borger, W., Lagaisse, B., & Joosen, W. (2011). Debugging Scandal: The Next Generation. In Proceedings of the Workshop on Reflection, AOP and Meta-Data for Software Evolution (RAM-SE 2011) (pp. 1). York, UK: University of York.