Bilal Alsallakh, Peter Bodesinsky, Alexander Gruber, and Silvia Miksch. Visual Tracing for the Eclipse Java Debugger. Demonstration at CSMR 2012.
In contrast to stepping, tracing is a debugging technique that does not suspend the execution. This technique is more suitable for debugging programs whose correctness is compromised by the suspension of execution. In this work we present a tool for visually tracing Java programs in Eclipse. Tracepoint hits are collected on a per-instance basis. This enables ﬁnding out which tracepoints were hit for which objects at which time. The interactive visualization provides detailed information about the hits such as thread, stack trace, and assigned values. We implemented the tool as an Eclipse plugin that integrates with other features of Eclipse Java debugger. In an informal evaluation, developers appreciated the utility of our method as a solution in the middle between full tracing and stop-and-go debugging. They suggested scenarios in which our tool can help them in debugging and understanding their programs.