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By Chris Williams. Published: 13th Sep 2005, 23:44:44 | Permalink | Printable

Adrian Lees' latest project, Star Fighter update and more

News in briefThe mother of all debuggers
Adrian Lees has revealed some more information regarding his modestly titled venture, the 'Ultimate Debugger Project'. The Aemulor and Geminus author has been working on a tool that can dissect RISC OS and software running on a computer that's crashed in a messy manner - making it ideal for low level programmers and driver developers. The software can log data to a second machine over a network, and it includes a panic button to break code out of infinite loops to investigate bugs, its own window manager to provide a user interface in case the operating system trashes itself, and lots of other goodies.

The debugger has been developed on and off over time to aid Adrian's other projects, of which he's juggling a proverbial boat load of right now. According to Adrian, the code predates Aemulor stablemate DeskDebug, and is more suited for analysing low level and operating system level module code. It's also a project that is independent of publisher Spellings.

"When it's complete it will do everything that DeskDebug does and a good deal more, but it's likely to be some time before that happens; initially it'll be a low-level tool for ARM programmers, which - I hope - isn't too far away. Most of the bits are basically working; they just need connecting together," said Adrian.

"It'll be released as free software, as I always intended. Possibly open source, though I don't know about that yet because I have other plans for parts of the software, particularly the Nvidia rendering and acceleration code - already used in Geminus - and the window manager."

Star Fighters awarded new patch
Chris Bazley, the current maintainer of 3D space game Star Fighter 3000, has released a free bug fixing update. Graphics glitches, the need for Castle's Shared C Library, and a number of minor bugs have been addressed in the patch.

In brief
Version 0.30 of
PrintPDF is now available, and includes support for long filenames to be passed to Ghostscript, plus an indicator to show when the PDF generation process is complete. RiscLua, which is Lua with enhancements suitable for RISC OS desktop programming, is now up to version 3.20 to coincide with the release of Lua 5.1. iTunes clone and potential Apple lawsuit magnet ROTunes is up to release 0.07, and includes various user interface related updates and support for up to 20,000 audio tracks. ROTunes author Paul Vigay has also developed FileNuke, which boldly promises to erase files beyond the grasp of even the most seasoned, presumably Government funded forensic science experts. Finally, Harriet "sister of Chris" Bazley has updated source code utility SideDiff to correct a few issues including one that caused it to crash on A9home computers.

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Discussion

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The Ultimate Debugger really does sound fantastic, just the thing people have been asking for in order to help with development of low level device drivers. Such as for new PCI cards on the Iyonix, which is an area Adrian has a lot of experiance in.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 14/9/05 9:39AM
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I'd just like to say that, despite being relatively simple, SideDiff is my favourite GUI diff tool on any platform. It does exactly what is sets out to do, unlike other more featured GUI diff tools I could mention on other platforms.

 is a RISC OS Userninja on 14/9/05 1:55PM
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Adrian> Ultimate Debugger sounds very much like a "must have" for ARM coders. I'd say it should also save me tearing out what little of my hair I have left.... a not exactly unimportant consideration ;)

It even uses its own Window manager that uses nVidia acceleration code from Geminus, captures trace info from xScale, and the joy of not having code crashes that loses all state information - yep this should be a major timesaver.

Another nice one Mr Lees !

 is a RISC OS UserAMS on 14/9/05 7:14PM
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I'd just like to point out that Steve Fryatt has upgraded PrintPDF to v0.32 already.

Thank you Steve, for a very nice front end to Ghostscript.

 is a RISC OS UserEddie on 15/9/05 2:50PM
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