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Re: Debugging Emacs

From: Phillip Lord
Subject: Re: Debugging Emacs
Date: Fri, 11 Dec 2015 15:47:17 +0000
User-agent: Gnus/5.13 (Gnus v5.13) Emacs/24.5 (gnu/linux)

Eli Zaretskii <address@hidden> writes:
>> Perhaps I am being thick, but I tried C-z and AFAICT it does nothing. I
>> mean, where do I type C-z? In the debugged Emacs? In the Emacs running
>> gdb?
> Into the Emacs window, like DEBUG says.

I can't get this to work (not when debugging Emacs inside another Emacs).

>> > Seriously, though: the few steps you described there are quite
>> > possibly not what the user will need to do, so I think it would get in
>> > the way.
>> I'd welcome simplification.
> Alas, there is no simplification I could think of.


> One other thing to keep in mind is that having documentation that is
> too closely tied to the current source (e.g., quoting function and
> variable names) is a certain maintenance burden, since functions and
> variables are routinely renamed, moved to other places, and deleted as
> part of development, and we then have yet another file to keep in sync
> with that.  Not rocket science, just one more thing to consider when
> deciding whether this is worth the hassle.

This is also a reason why I thought adding a "break" function (which
does nothing and could be breakpointed by .gdbinit would be a good thing).

>> >> Probably, etc/DEBUG needs to be replaced with a section in the elisp
>> >> manual.
>> >
>> > Somebody already mentioned that.  I don't think I agree: when you
>> > debug, you need the instructions be available on the simplest medium
>> > possible, so a plain text file is better than Info.  What's more
>> > important, a single file with a distinct name is easier found than a
>> > section in a large manual.
>> Unconvinced. The single large manual is also on the web and it's easier
>> to find there than as a file in etc/DEBUG. I tried searching for "Emacs
>> debug with GDB" and various other combinations before I found etc/DEBUG.
>> Which I found because you described it on Emacs-devel.
> It's mentioned in CONTRIBUTE, FWIW.  That should be the first place
> people look for this information.  I don't know how to advertise it
> better, and I very much doubt having it in the manual will do the job:
> look at how many questions get posted that are already in the manuals.

The manual is difficult and people will always miss things. But I found
it hard to find out how to debug Emacs C than Emacs lisp -- not a
surprise, many fewer people do it. I looked in the web first. I guess
many people would do the same (esp. as this includes the manual).


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