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DB
programmatic interface to the Perl debugging API (draft, subject to change)

DB - programmatic interface to the Perl debugging API (draft, subject to change)


NAME

DB - programmatic interface to the Perl debugging API (draft, subject to change)


SYNOPSIS


    package CLIENT;

    use DB;

    @ISA = qw(DB);

    # these (inherited) methods can be called by the client

    CLIENT->register()      # register a client package name

    CLIENT->done()          # de-register from the debugging API

    CLIENT->skippkg('hide::hide')  # ask DB not to stop in this package

    CLIENT->cont([WHERE])       # run some more (until BREAK or another breakpt)

    CLIENT->step()              # single step

    CLIENT->next()              # step over

    CLIENT->ret()               # return from current subroutine

    CLIENT->backtrace()         # return the call stack description

    CLIENT->ready()             # call when client setup is done

    CLIENT->trace_toggle()      # toggle subroutine call trace mode

    CLIENT->subs([SUBS])        # return subroutine information

    CLIENT->files()             # return list of all files known to DB

    CLIENT->lines()             # return lines in currently loaded file

    CLIENT->loadfile(FILE,LINE) # load a file and let other clients know

    CLIENT->lineevents()        # return info on lines with actions

    CLIENT->set_break([WHERE],[COND])

    CLIENT->set_tbreak([WHERE])

    CLIENT->clr_breaks([LIST])

    CLIENT->set_action(WHERE,ACTION)

    CLIENT->clr_actions([LIST])

    CLIENT->evalcode(STRING)  # eval STRING in executing code's context

    CLIENT->prestop([STRING]) # execute in code context before stopping

    CLIENT->poststop([STRING])# execute in code context before resuming

    # These methods will be called at the appropriate times.

    # Stub versions provided do nothing.

    # None of these can block.

    CLIENT->init()          # called when debug API inits itself

    CLIENT->stop(FILE,LINE) # when execution stops

    CLIENT->idle()          # while stopped (can be a client event loop)

    CLIENT->cleanup()       # just before exit

    CLIENT->output(LIST)    # called to print any output that API must show


DESCRIPTION

Perl debug information is frequently required not just by debuggers, but also by modules that need some ``special'' information to do their job properly, like profilers.

This module abstracts and provides all of the hooks into Perl internal debugging functionality, so that various implementations of Perl debuggers (or packages that want to simply get at the ``privileged'' debugging data) can all benefit from the development of this common code. Currently used by Swat, the perl/Tk GUI debugger.

Note that multiple ``front-ends'' can latch into this debugging API simultaneously. This is intended to facilitate things like debugging with a command line and GUI at the same time, debugging debuggers etc. [Sounds nice, but this needs some serious support -- GSAR]

In particular, this API does not provide the following functions:

  • data display

  • command processing

  • command alias management

  • user interface (tty or graphical)

These are intended to be services performed by the clients of this API.

This module attempts to be squeaky clean w.r.t use strict; and when warnings are enabled.

Global Variables

The following ``public'' global names can be read by clients of this API. Beware that these should be considered ``readonly''.

$DB::sub
Name of current executing subroutine.

%DB::sub
The keys of this hash are the names of all the known subroutines. Each value is an encoded string that has the sprintf(3) format ("%s:%d-%d", filename, fromline, toline).

$DB::single
Single-step flag. Will be true if the API will stop at the next statement.

$DB::signal
Signal flag. Will be set to a true value if a signal was caught. Clients may check for this flag to abort time-consuming operations.

$DB::trace
This flag is set to true if the API is tracing through subroutine calls.

@DB::args
Contains the arguments of current subroutine, or the @ARGV array if in the toplevel context.

@DB::dbline
List of lines in currently loaded file.

%DB::dbline
Actions in current file (keys are line numbers). The values are strings that have the sprintf(3) format ("%s\000%s", breakcondition, actioncode).

$DB::package
Package namespace of currently executing code.

$DB::filename
Currently loaded filename.

$DB::subname
Fully qualified name of currently executing subroutine.

$DB::lineno
Line number that will be executed next.

API Methods

The following are methods in the DB base class. A client must access these methods by inheritance (*not* by calling them directly), since the API keeps track of clients through the inheritance mechanism.

CLIENT->register()
register a client object/package

CLIENT->evalcode(STRING)
eval STRING in executing code context

CLIENT->skippkg('D::hide')
ask DB not to stop in these packages

CLIENT->run()
run some more (until a breakpt is reached)

CLIENT->step()
single step

CLIENT->next()
step over

CLIENT->done()
de-register from the debugging API

Client Callback Methods

The following ``virtual'' methods can be defined by the client. They will be called by the API at appropriate points. Note that unless specified otherwise, the debug API only defines empty, non-functional default versions of these methods.

CLIENT->init()
Called after debug API inits itself.

CLIENT->prestop([STRING])
Usually inherited from DB package. If no arguments are passed, returns the prestop action string.

CLIENT->stop()
Called when execution stops (w/ args file, line).

CLIENT->idle()
Called while stopped (can be a client event loop).

CLIENT->poststop([STRING])
Usually inherited from DB package. If no arguments are passed, returns the poststop action string.

CLIENT->evalcode(STRING)
Usually inherited from DB package. Ask for a STRING to be eval-ed in executing code context.

CLIENT->cleanup()
Called just before exit.

CLIENT->output(LIST)
Called when API must show a message (warnings, errors etc.).


BUGS

The interface defined by this module is missing some of the later additions to perl's debugging functionality. As such, this interface should be considered highly experimental and subject to change.


AUTHOR

Gurusamy Sarathy gsar@activestate.com

This code heavily adapted from an early version of perl5db.pl attributable to Larry Wall and the Perl Porters.

Programminig
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Programming
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