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Re: gdba probs

From: Miles Bader
Subject: Re: gdba probs
Date: Sat, 7 Dec 2002 21:27:57 -0500
User-agent: Mutt/1.3.28i

On Sat, Dec 07, 2002 at 04:25:57PM -0500, Richard Stallman wrote:
>     The totalview debugger starts with 6 windows. But, hey!, lets be open
>     minded about this. How do you know you don't want them before you know
>     what they do ?
> Is there a way to make it more self-evident what these windows do?
> What measures are taken in the code as it is now
> to show the user what these windows do and how to use them?

The meaning of the windows should be pretty obvious to most people who have
some debugger experience I think; at least they were to me.  I presumed when
Nick said that, he meant it as a joke.

THe bigger problem is that they simply aren't very useful unless they have
some contents; until then they're just a waste of space -- and in many cases
they're a wast of space even if they _do_ have some contents, because the
contents are not something you want to see continuously (for instance the
breakpoints window).  The set of windows you want is highly dependent on what
you're debugging.

The GUI debuggers I've used typically start out displaying only one or two
windows (e.g., the command window and a source window, sort of like normal
gud mode), but offer toolbar buttons to easily pop up others; once the others
are popped up, they are updated continuously.  Note that for some window
types, you can pop up more than one instance -- e.g. memory display windows,
where you may want to display several regions of memory simultaneously.

Since screen-space is a fairly precious commodity for me this is a very good
method of operation (and I suspect the same is true of many users -- not
everyone uses a 1600x1280 display with an 8 point font!).

I gather that gdba is modelled after GUI debuggers that initially pop up many
very small windows; I've seen these, but don't like them, largely for the
reasons stated above (the other reason is that such debuggers usually seem to
use an `every window has a different obnoxious neon background color' look; I
guess they do this so you can sort out all those windows easily, but man it's

Is it true that nothing can be known?  If so how do we know this?  -Woody Allen

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