Sunday, December 19, 2004

Debug builds.

Once upon a time I used to write systems in C. Back then we used to compile most of the time with debug switches on to make the symbol info available in the debugger. Of course this bloated the exes quite a bit so we used to strip the binaries for UAT and production once tested. A little side effect was that a bunch of times the systems stopped working when stripped since the extra debug packing "forgave" the odd minor memory allocation error. Nice.

In Java land, I never compile any other way - of course, since I don't work for a software vendor anymore so the extra symbol info doesn't matter in terms of leaking implementation details.

When trying to find a hard-to-reproduce bug, having lots of extra debug info is great -- which made me think, is there a sane way to provide builds modded with this old chestnut without the side effects noted above? Having that level of info would be worth it's weight in gold - especially if the performance impact can be mitigated.

Bil has now GPL'd Omni, but last time I spoke to him, he wasn't particularly keen on building a community around it. It seems he's now working on Eclipse integration -- good move. I mentioned that some time ago, it's really the best route I reckon.

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