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Friday Q&A 2018-06-29: Debugging with C-Reduce at 2018-06-29 13:35
Debugging a complex problem is tough, and it can be especially difficult when it's not obvious which chunk of code is responsible. It's common to attempt to produce a reduced test case in order to narrow it down. It's tedious to do this manually, but it's also the sort of thing computers are really good at. C-Reduce is a program which automatically takes programs and pares them down to produce a reduced test case. Let's take a look at how to use it.
Tales From The Crash Mines: Issue #1 at 2014-02-06 14:53
Today's post comes courtesy of Landon Fuller, who you may remember from a previous guest post about mach exception handlers. Landon is a fellow member at Plausible Labs, and today he presents the first in what is intended to be a running series on interesting crashes we encounter in our work.
Friday Q&A 2013-01-11: Mach Exception Handlers at 2013-01-11 14:44
This is my first guest Friday Q&A article, dear readers, and I hope it will withstand your scrutiny. Today's topic is on Mach exception handlers, something I've recently spent some time exploring on Mac OS X and iOS for the purpose of crash reporting. While there is surprisingly little documentation available about Mach exception handlers, and they're considered by some to be a mystical source of mystery and power, the fact is that they're actually pretty simple to understand at a high level - something I hope to elucidate here. Unfortunately, they're also partially private API on iOS, despite being used in a number of new crash reporting solutions - something I'll touch on in the conclusion.
Friday Q&A 2012-05-04: PLCrashReporter and Unwinding the Stack With DWARF, Part 2 at 2012-05-04 18:44
Here I am, yet again! This week, I'm continuing where my last article left off, regarding PLCrashReporter and unwinding stack frames on x86_64. In particular, I go into how I got at and used all the various data I discussed in last week's article, and why some of the existing solutions in the wild weren't suited for our use.
Friday Q&A 2012-04-27: PLCrashReporter and Unwinding the Stack With DWARF at 2012-04-27 14:11
I'm back once again for Friday Q&A. Today I'm going to talk about some work I recently did on PLCrashReporter, adding support for unwinding stack frames on x86_64. PLCrashReporter was originally targeted solely at iOS, where both ARM and x86-32 (the simulator) make crash reporting relatively straight-forward; we can simply walk the stack via the preserved frame pointer. On x86-64, matters are different, leading to the need to implement support for alternative methods for stack unwinding. This work was sponsored by HockeyApp, to support their upcoming release of Mac OS X sandbox-compatible crash reporting. I'll talk about DWARF debugging information, the compact unwind encoding, and stack scanners. I assume at least some knowledge of x86_64 architecture, for simplicity's sake.
Friday Q&A 2011-06-17: gdb Tips and Tricks at 2011-06-17 19:49
It has been said that programming is simply the art of debugging an empty file. While this is a bit of a narrow minded view of things, the fact is that debugging is hugely important to any serious programming. There are a lot of different ways to debug programs, ranging from writing logs to blinking a light to simply inspecting the contents of memory on a crashed system. However, the debugger is one of the most powerful tools for debugging, as you might expect, since it allows deep inspection and modification of a running program without having to anticipate your debugging needs in advance. Although
lldb, the new debugger from the LLVM project, is quickly gaining functionality, the gold standard for debugging Cocoa apps is still
gdb. Today I'm going to discuss how to use
gdb and various tips and tricks for getting the most out of it, a topic suggested by Luis de la Rosa.
Subtle Bugs at 2007-07-10 00:00
I've just released a new version of ChemicalBurn which fixes two nasty bugs which have been in there for quite some time. Today I'll tell you about them. (You can also follow along at home in the svn repository.)