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GSoC and GDB/MI migration in Emacs

From: Nick Roberts
Subject: GSoC and GDB/MI migration in Emacs
Date: Mon, 23 Mar 2009 22:46:21 +1300

Hi Dmitry.

 > I am interested in participating in Summer of Code this year, willing to
 > contribute to Emacs and I'm looking for mentor, advice and more
 > information about Emacs GDB/MI migration project, listed on GNU ideas
 > page [1].

I proposed this project and have volunteered to mentor it.  

 > Although Emacs todo list has a lot of items, but I'm particularly
 > interested in this project because I have some experience in creating
 > Emacs interface to external programs (I maintain a very small package
 > emacs-shellfm [2]), which may be helpful in my future project. I'm
 > familiar with GDB itself as well, having used it to debug some of my C
 > code and even Emacs itself once (see Emacs bug 773).

It's good that you are already involved in free software.

 > I haven't studied the existing codebase (gdb-ui and gdb-mi packages)
 > thoroughly yet, so I'm unsure about complexity of this project, however,
 > I understand how such packages are organized and work generally.

I guess the main goal of the project is to produce an Emacs mode that wholly
uses GDB/MI and is comparable to the existing mode which is based on
annotations.  This should be achievable without prior knowledge, but the
project could go beyond that and take advantage of new features of GDB that
are only available to GDB/MI, such as non-stop mode for multi-threaded targets.
Ultimately I guess I'm looking for someone who would want to contribute after
Summer of Code has finished, although this isn't a requirement, of course.

 > Certainly participating in this project will get me in closer touch with
 > all debugging packages Emacs has, which will probably allow me to do
 > some work on refactoring them (which is a bigger project also listed on
 > [1]) in future.
 > Looking forward to hearing your comments and advice.

A good start would be to experiment with gdb in a recent version of Emacs,
or preferably from the CVS repository at Savannah.  It would also be a
good idea to get the gdb-mi package from ELPA.  The Emacs (and Elisp)
info manuals and the Gdb info manuals will be useful.  You can start to
understand how Emacs interacts with Gdb by running gdb from the command
line, i.e., a terminal using the relevant options, i.e.,

  gdb --annotate=3 myprog


  gdb -i=mi myprog

Thanks for showing interest in this project.

Nick                                           http://www.inet.net.nz/~nickrob

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