[xdebug-general] Re: Xdebug support for languages other than PHP

From: Nick Trout <nick[@]rockstarvancouver.com>
Date: Tue, 20 Sep 2005 12:03:53 -0700

From: Derick Rethans
> I've no real plans of supporting other languages with Xdebug, as it's

Okay, fair enough, I may just take parts of xdebug (e.g. network, dbgp
and xml code) and convert to Lua. It would be nice to have some sort of
test harness to make sure that the protocol is correct etc (and doesn't
change in conversion). Are there any such tools?

> What I'm wondering about if you're planning on making a
cross-platform debugger, which is not tied into an IDE, based on Xdebug.

I thought the GDB protocol supplied this? Isn't this a more accessible
version of DBGP?

My goal is to create a Lua debugger in some way reusing other
components, and trying to create something which other people have an
interest in maintaining. I'm very conscious of other attempts to create
debuggers which either fall by the wayside because people don't realize
how much work they are and never complete them, or stop maintaining them
after they stop being useful to them. Often the implementation is
platform specific, which can freeze out other developers.

One way to get other developers involved would be to make the debugger
language independent. As you point out, not everyone wants a GUI
debugger either. My original plans for a Lua debugger included a client
library which could have a command line or GUI front end. The GUI might
even use the command line version.

For the GUI there are a number of options here. I've decided on
wxWidgets as the GUI toolkit (most portable and largest useful, native,
widget set). There are several language bindings for wxWidgets,
including wxPython. The two main options for me would be:

* C++ IDE/debugger implementation with the ability to customize the
editor with features and per-language features. For the customization
I'd use Lua, embedded in the editor, to allow customization and feature

* wxPython debugger components. There are existing wxPython editors and
frameworks that could be used and have debugger components inserted in
them. E.g. create source view, watchpoints, breakpoints windows which
could be easy inserted in existing editors.

I'm quite partial to wxPython as it's very quick to get stuff up and
running (and has easy XML support for DBGP). It also solves a lot of
portability and distribution problems.

For a non-GUI version perhaps VIM can hook up to a Python library in
some way? Just taking a quick look at VIM there is a vimDebug script:


It looks like if you wrote a Perl script to interpret GDBP it would work
with VIM. I suppose an XML-RPC interface could be added to a Python
client debugger library and the Perl interface could talk to that
(unless there is another debugger interface to VIM that uses Python).

Received on Tue Sep 20 2005 - 21:04:02 BST

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