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Linux Journal: Go Straight To The Source with CTrace

Jul 21, 2004, 13:00 (0 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Cal McPherson)

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"It is easy to become dependent on debuggers. They allow us to examine variables and to control flow execution as our applications run. But what can you do when your application isn't working and the debugger can't help you? Some applications, by nature, make using a debugger impractical; multithreaded applications fall into this category. Leroy Xavier, the author of LinuxThreads says, 'Debuggers are not really effective for subtle concurrency problems, because they disrupt the program too much.'

"Consider a computer telephony application with a separate thread running for each telephone call. Telephone protocols have timeout conditions associated with them. When you pick up your telephone receiver, you get a dial tone and then you start dialing the number. But, if you fail to dial within a specified timeframe, the call is made null and void by the protocol, and your dial tone is history..."

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