Recipe 1.13 Debugging with JDB


Problem

The use of debugging printouts and assertions in your code is still not enough.

Solution

Use a debugger, preferably the one that comes with your IDE.

Discussion

The JDK includes a command-line-based debugger, jdb, and any number of IDEs include their own debugging tools. If you've focused on one IDE, learn to use the debugger that it provides. If you're a command-line junkie, you may want to learn at least the basic operations of jdb.

Here is a buggy program. It intentionally has bugs introduced so that you can see their effects in a debugger:

/** This program exhibits some bugs, so we can use a debugger */ public class Buggy {     static String name;     public static void main(String[] args) {         int n = name.length( );    // bug # 1         System.out.println(n);         name += "; The end.";    // bug #2         System.out.println(name); // #3     } }

Here is a session using jdb to find these bugs:

ian> java Buggy Exception in thread "main" java.lang.NullPointerException         at Buggy.main(Compiled Code) ian> jdb Buggy Initializing jdb... 0xb2:class(Buggy) > run run Buggy  running ... main[1]  Uncaught exception: java.lang.NullPointerException         at Buggy.main(Buggy.java:6)         at sun.tools.agent.MainThread.runMain(Native Method)         at sun.tools.agent.MainThread.run(MainThread.java:49) main[1] list 2          public class Buggy { 3               static String name; 4           5               public static void main(String[] args) { 6       =>              int n = name.length( );  // bug # 1 7           8                       System.out.println(n); 9           10                      name += "; The end.";   // bug #2 main[1] print Buggy.name Buggy.name = null main[1] help ** command list ** threads [threadgroup]     -- list threads thread <thread id>        -- set default thread suspend [thread id(s)]    -- suspend threads (default: all) resume [thread id(s)]     -- resume threads (default: all) where [thread id] | all   -- dump a thread's stack wherei [thread id] | all  -- dump a thread's stack, with pc info threadgroups              -- list threadgroups threadgroup <name>        -- set current threadgroup print <id> [id(s)]        -- print object or field dump <id> [id(s)]         -- print all object information locals                    -- print all local variables in current stack frame classes                   -- list currently known classes methods <class id>        -- list a class's methods stop in <class id>.<method>[(argument_type,...)] -- set a breakpoint in a method stop at <class id>:<line> -- set a breakpoint at a line up [n frames]             -- move up a thread's stack down [n frames]           -- move down a thread's stack clear <class id>.<method>[(argument_type,...)]   -- clear a breakpoint in a method clear <class id>:<line>   -- clear a breakpoint at a line step                      -- execute current line step up                   -- execute until the current method returns to its caller stepi                     -- execute current instruction next                      -- step one line (step OVER calls) cont                      -- continue execution from breakpoint catch <class id>          -- break for the specified exception ignore <class id>         -- ignore when the specified exception list [line number|method] -- print source code use [source file path]    -- display or change the source path memory                    -- report memory usage gc                        -- free unused objects load classname            -- load Java class to be debugged run <class> [args]        -- start execution of a loaded Java class !!                        -- repeat last command help (or ?)               -- list commands exit (or quit)            -- exit debugger main[1] exit ian>

Many other debuggers are available; a look in the current Java magazines will inform you of them. Many of them work remotely since the Java Debugger API (that which the debuggers use) is network-based.



Java Cookbook
Java Cookbook, Second Edition
ISBN: 0596007019
EAN: 2147483647
Year: 2003
Pages: 409
Authors: Ian F Darwin

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