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Let your programs speak to you: Debugger Reporter released

By Chris Williams. Published: 10th Nov 13:15:09 | Permalink | Printable

As any software developer will know, writing a piece of software is half the effort. The other half being debugging, a crucial and demanding task required to produce stable, user-friendly software. There used to be a shedload of half decent debugging tools in the PD scene, where coders could get right into the thick of the system. The best I can think of at this moment is ArcTools, an extremely quick command-line driven debugger. Unfortunately, we have moved on and RISC OS 4 and the new CPU architectures prevent these old programs from being of any use.
These days, programmers are more skillfull and software is increasing in quality. With the majority of programs now being multitasking desktop applications, the debugger needs to evolve. A common topic discussed by the RISC OS programmers at t-c-r.org is the lack of new software development tools so when someone steps in to fill the gap, well, you can guess the reaction.

This time around, Martin Avison offers newly updated Reporter 2.31. Martin is already known for producing RISC OS software which includes the excellent real-time desktop monitor TaskUsage. It comes to no surprise that his latest application is also a programmer tool that provides system and program information as events occur. Reporter is a debug program that allows an application to send messages to the user informing her of what the program is doing internally. Something which is invaluable if you need to know why a program keeps crashing or producing incorrect results.

According to Martin's website, Reporter can...

  • Enable programs to display variables and internal data
  • Enable programs to list errors in a separate friendly window
  • Display BASIC's memory usage
  • Display machine code registers
  • Handle BASIC TRACE output
  • Handle breakpoints within BASIC
  • Display Wimp_Poll reason codes

The updated Reporter also allows variables to be malnipulated in between breakpoints and features a revised StrongHelp manual. The interface between programs and Reporter is now officially registered, (nice to know the SWI and filetype registering service is still running), and the interface is also accessible from machine code.
When you download it and use Reporter, remember to give Martin an email on what you think. You can also email drobe.co.uk if you have any news or new software.

Reporter website

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