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Opinions wanted re: testing/debugging tool for Java

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  • Kevin Heatwole
    Pardon the intrusion. I ve been lurking for a month or so and really like the makeup of this group. It seems like there are a lot of good software
    Message 1 of 1 , Jan 16, 2001
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      Pardon the intrusion. I've been lurking for a month or so and really like
      the makeup of this group. It seems like there are a lot of good software
      professionals that post here.

      The small company I work for sells a testing/debugging tool for use on
      C/C++/Ada programs. I won't name the tool or my company since I don't want
      to be perceived as blatantly spamming this group. But, we are in the
      process of bring this tool (or more accurately, some tool based on our
      current technology) to Java programmers and testers.

      We have a real good handle on the technology, but we are involved in endless
      internal debates as to what features are important for the tool and really
      solve problems faced by real programmers/testers of Java programs.

      I would like to find real programmers/testers with real experience in Java
      (or, for that matter, in C++) that wouldn't mind discussing their needs and
      what features in a debugging/testing tool would be really useful (that
      aren't being addressed currently by other tools in the market).

      I won't go into too much detail here, but our current tool is essentially a
      realtime programmable debugger/testing tool. It allows you to write
      fragments of C code that are compiled and can be patched dynamically into a
      running program (like a dynamic linker) before it actually runs. These C
      fragments can do almost anything and there is an extensive API that allows
      the fragments to do things like log variables by name, access/print the call
      chain, or change data on the fly. These fragments can be attached to almost
      any place in the program so that you can add functionality to a program or
      trace execution on any function call or on execution of a specific line in a
      function in the program.

      Anyway, we've ported this tool to Java (the fragments of code are written in
      Java instead of C), but we really aren't convinced a general patching tool
      is what Java programmers/testers want. First, you have to write some code
      to get data out of the Java program (unless you run with some already
      written fragments) and a lot of people don't want to do any more programming
      than they have too. Also, I'm not sure that people would pay for such a
      tool (we have to make a living). Maybe a tool that just lets you pick
      places to traces and data to log at those places and not do any programming
      (no matter how easy the programming would be) would be a better way to go.
      But, then again, there may already be such tools out there that people use
      and there is no need for another one.

      So, I'm asking for anyone with some experience as a programmer/tester that
      wouldn't mind discussing the pros and cons for a tool or how we could use
      our technology in a cool tool that would really add value, to contact me. I
      also will discuss this publicly in this group if the group doesn't think it
      is too off topic, but I don't want to clutter the group.

      I'd really like to get the input of some of you XPers since it seems like
      you are an experienced group of real programmers that won't be afraid to
      tell it like it is. And, us programmers can really use all the useful tools
      we can get.

      Thanks,

      Kevin
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