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Re: gdb scripting language (was OSX crash)

From: Carsten Mattner
Subject: Re: gdb scripting language (was OSX crash)
Date: Mon, 19 Dec 2011 13:12:33 +0100

On Mon, Dec 19, 2011 at 12:53 PM, Stephen J. Turnbull
<address@hidden> wrote:
> Carsten Mattner writes:
>  > On Mon, Dec 19, 2011 at 9:40 AM, Stephen J. Turnbull <address@hidden> 
> wrote:
>  > > Jan Djärv writes:
>  > >
>  > >  > I think [llbd] yses Python as a scripting language (yech ...).
>  > >
>  > > Tastes differ, but I think you are nuts if you prefer gdb command
>  > > language scripting to Python!
>  >
>  > Yes, but from a simplicity and size perspective Lua (even though I
>  > don't like it and wouldn't recommend it) would be better choice.
>  > >From a use-case point of view I'm sure that Guile or another LISP
>  > variant would be a more ideal fit.
> Eh?  You really think people who program only in C/C++/Java/FORTRAN
> would really prefer a Lispy scripting language?  People who use Emacs
> don't really count, as they (mostly) shouldn't need to care, they
> should just use gdb (or gud) mode.

Yes, because Lisps are way easier to learn and reason about than
any C variant with 20% of the behaviour being guess work and
undefined or plain system specific. Adding win32 and posix apis
with different *nixes makes it a minefield. There's a reason autoconf
still exists with all those oddball platforms having died long ago.
Most "scripting" languages either abstract away or provide a 1:1
wrapper of APIs only providing a good interface probably half of
the time. See the recent close(2) discussion started by tarsnap's
author for a trivial but unfortunate situation if you want to write
some posix code and run it on BSDs, Linux, and OSX.

> Anyway, my question is not "which idealized scripting language do you
> think should be used for an imaginary debugger's command language?"
> It's "which real debugger's actual scripting language do you prefer?"

I've never used debuggers extensively to have an opinion.

My whole argument is on using the best tool, not what is seemingly
familiar. If gdb is used by C and C++ authors, Python is not a language
they are automatically able to reason about. It's just not true, and only
made popular due to being the new Perl of the Linux distros.
Python being in lldb is one of problems FreeBSD faces with putting
LLDB in the base system.

I've changed the subject. If you want to discuss this, please let's
start a new thread, but this is not the gdb list, so most probably
is the wrong forum anyway.

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