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Ruby on Windows: debugger questions and comments

 
 
JC
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      02-13-2005
'm evaluating scripting languages for a client. Ruby as a language
seems immediately likeable (I love the Smalltalk influence) but the
tools and their documentation seem likely to cause big problems for
Windows users. (Thelanguage docs otoh are exemplary.) In particular:

1. It seems that the debugger built into FreeRIDE doesn't work under
Windows? If this is true, why on earth doesn't the debugger pop a
dialog box saying this when you try to use it??? Leaving around a
broken debugger without any warning to users in a development
environment makes Ruby look so bad compared to the standard Python and
Perl distributions. A few minutes effort would at least stop Ruby from
looking unreliable.

2. Could someone tell me where I could find documentation on the debug
mode for the interpreter? Its use might be self-evident to people who
have to use GDB type tools every day, but for those of who don't still
use use the Pony Express a page or two of docs would help.

3. Can anyone recommend another Ruby debugger? I've briefly tried
Arachno (bizarrely it doesn't seem to show the value of variables) -
is there anything else?

Thanks.
 
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Curt Hibbs
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      02-13-2005
JC wrote:
>
> 1. It seems that the debugger built into FreeRIDE doesn't work under
> Windows? If this is true, why on earth doesn't the debugger pop a
> dialog box saying this when you try to use it??? Leaving around a
> broken debugger without any warning to users in a development
> environment makes Ruby look so bad compared to the standard Python and
> Perl distributions. A few minutes effort would at least stop Ruby from
> looking unreliable.


The latest version of FreeRide, and the version of FreeRIDE that comes with
the One-Click Ruby Installer for Windows, both have working debuggers.

Curt



 
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Tobias Luetke
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      02-13-2005
Off topic but here goes:

I know this sounds like a long stretch but after writing thousands of
lines of production code in ruby my observation is that the lack of
debugger is actually beneficial for the project because it results in
better test coverage.
When i encounter a bug or observe an oddity I go ahead and write a
small test case for it which doesn't take much longer than using the
debugger. After I'm done I'm left with the certainty that it works
just like after using a debugger, however I also know it will never
break again because now i got a test case double checking it for me.

> 3. Can anyone recommend another Ruby debugger? I've briefly tried
> Arachno (bizarrely it doesn't seem to show the value of variables) -
> is there anything else?


Rails ships with a breakpointer. This opens an IRB session on the spot
when you put the method call "breakpoint" anywhere in your code.
--
Tobi
http://www.snowdevil.ca - Snowboards that don't suck
http://www.hieraki.org - Open source book authoring
http://blog.leetsoft.com - Technical weblog


 
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JC
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      02-14-2005
"Curt Hibbs" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message news:<(E-Mail Removed)> ...
> JC wrote:
> >
> > 1. It seems that the debugger built into FreeRIDE doesn't work under
> > Windows? If this is true, why on earth doesn't the debugger pop a
> > dialog box saying this when you try to use it??? Leaving around a
> > broken debugger without any warning to users in a development
> > environment makes Ruby look so bad compared to the standard Python and
> > Perl distributions. A few minutes effort would at least stop Ruby from
> > looking unreliable.

>
> The latest version of FreeRide, and the version of FreeRIDE that comes with
> the One-Click Ruby Installer for Windows, both have working debuggers.
>
> Curt


So why does the FreeRIDE homepage say: "Unfortunately, the debugger
still does not work on Windows. We are actively trying to resolve this
problem."? And why does the Ruby 182-14 install that I downloaded NOT
having aworking debugger?
 
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Daniel Berger
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      02-14-2005

JC wrote:
<snip>
> 3. Can anyone recommend another Ruby debugger? I've briefly tried
> Arachno (bizarrely it doesn't seem to show the value of variables) -
> is there anything else?
>
> Thanks.


There is also the debugger that comes with RDT (the Ruby plugin for
Eclipse). Visit http://rubyeclipse.sf.net

Regards,

Dan

 
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Ville Mattila
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      02-14-2005
http://www.velocityreviews.com/forums/(E-Mail Removed) (JC) writes:

> 3. Can anyone recommend another Ruby debugger? I've briefly tried
> Arachno (bizarrely it doesn't seem to show the value of variables) -
> is there anything else?


Arachno ruby show variable values just fine, at least for me. I'm using
Arachno 0.4. Have you enabled break point and is the debuggee state pane
visible for you?

- Ville
 
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JC
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      02-14-2005
Ville Mattila <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message news:<(E-Mail Removed)>...
> (E-Mail Removed) (JC) writes:
>
> > 3. Can anyone recommend another Ruby debugger? I've briefly tried
> > Arachno (bizarrely it doesn't seem to show the value of variables) -
> > is there anything else?

>
> Arachno ruby show variable values just fine, at least for me. I'm using
> Arachno 0.4. Have you enabled break point and is the debuggee state pane
> visible for you?
>
> - Ville


As far as I can tell given the lack of docs, yes. I can set
breakpoints and I can even see what variables are in scope, but I'm
not getting values.
 
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JC
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      02-14-2005
"Daniel Berger" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message news:<(E-Mail Removed) roups.com>...
> JC wrote:
> <snip>
> > 3. Can anyone recommend another Ruby debugger? I've briefly tried
> > Arachno (bizarrely it doesn't seem to show the value of variables) -
> > is there anything else?
> >
> > Thanks.

>
> There is also the debugger that comes with RDT (the Ruby plugin for
> Eclipse). Visit http://rubyeclipse.sf.net
>
> Regards,
>
> Dan


Thanks - I'll check.
 
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JC
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      02-14-2005
> > JC wrote:
>
> So why does the FreeRIDE homepage say: "Unfortunately, the debugger
> still does not work on Windows. We are actively trying to resolve this
> problem."? And why does the Ruby 182-14 install that I downloaded NOT
> having aworking debugger?


Further comments: if I run rubygems, then the debugger semi-works - ie
I can step through code but see the state of variables (which seems
pretty pointless).

Comments:

- Five minutes of documentation would have made using the debugger
such as it is much smooother. Yes, there had been some sort of
"require rubgems" message, but that's not the same as saying "there's
a separate program caled rubygemsetcetc.exe that you if have to run to
make the debugger work" - this looked like a library error at first,
then when I checked the FreeRIDE site simply like a completely broken
debugger.

- A debugger that won't show variable values (if this is the case)
should be documented in the faq and Ride help.

I know these tools are written for volunteers for free, but if want
Ruby to spread the last thing you want is tools that cause FUD. Right
now that's what you have - when even basic tools are this poorly
documented its bound to settle new users. A few minutes documentation
effort would avoid this. You don't have to get the debugger to work,
but you really should document how to switch it on (!) and what its
limitations are. This is literally ten minutes effort.
 
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Stephen Kellett
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      02-14-2005
In message <(E-Mail Removed) >, JC
<(E-Mail Removed)> writes
>3. Can anyone recommend another Ruby debugger? I've briefly tried
>Arachno (bizarrely it doesn't seem to show the value of variables) -
>is there anything else?


Not a debugger, but various coverage, profiling, thread analysis and
flow tracing tools (which do show the variable values). Windows
NT/W2K/XP.

http://www.softwareverify.com

Stephen
--
Stephen Kellett
Object Media Limited http://www.objmedia.demon.co.uk
RSI Information: http://www.objmedia.demon.co.uk/rsi.html
 
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