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Debugger limitations

Posted on 1997-04-21
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Last Modified: 2010-04-04

Is there some limit to the amount of symbol information that Delphi 1 can cope with? I've a large project ( 100+ units ) which has started to show debugging problems. The browser doesn't always know about a symbol when asked, and setting breakpoints doesn't always work on lines that are definitely being called. Yes, I've got all the debug flags ( except TDW ) on, yes, I'm building everything in sight, and no, I'm not optimising for load time.
Is this a known problem? Any way to fix ? Does delphi 2 have any such limits ?
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Question by:andrewjb
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by:sperling
ID: 1335566
I've heard of this before, but haven't experienced it myself. I believe it has something to do with some internal limitations in the IDE debugger.

As far as I know you can't fix it... Consider DLLs is the best idea I can come up with.

I haven't experienced nor heard of any such problems in D2...


Regards,

Erik.
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by:andrewjb
ID: 1335567
Current thoughts are that it might be something to do with the number of UNITS you've got, not their size. Although this sounds strange, someone else has indicated that a fix is to combine units into one.
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by:sperling
ID: 1335568
That might work, if the problem is that the "namespace" of the debugger is too small. I've also seen comments indicating that keeping the units in the same directory would help.

Regards,

Erik.
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by:nils pipenbrinck
ID: 1335569
At least I can help you with the breakpoint problem.

If you want to raise a breakpoint you can hardcode it into your
program. Just use these three lines:

  asm;
    int 3;
  end;

Int3 will be trapped by the debugger and will always work. But be sure you removed all these calls before you run the program without delphi. It'll crash!


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miv earned 200 total points
ID: 1335570
It´s the length of the combined path of all your units which hits the roof in Delphi.
Shorten your paths or place all units in one dir near the root ex. c:\src\
You can, however, debug as it is now, just use a high level unit in the unit you wish to debug.
(Mail me if you did´nt get that :-) )

Ex.
UNIT LowLevelUnit;

USES
  HighLevelUnit;
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by:andrewjb
ID: 1335571
Miv,
Interesting! Looks as though this might be helping. Two questions :
First, how did you find this out? Is there something documented somewhere, or was it by experimenting ?
Second, Sorry I didn't understand your 'include a high level unit' bit to get it to debug now. Could you explain again??

100 points are about to be yours!!.......

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by:miv
ID: 1335572
Found out the hard way - 350 units, 250.000 lines of code...

The units first parsed when you compile is low level units - file handling, math routines etc.
Your Mainform is prob. a very high level unit. (My own definition).

If you wish to debug f.ex. a math unit, place your mainforms unit name in the uses statement of the implementation in the math unit and rebuild. That should do the trick.

Happy coding, I hope Delphi 2/3 solves the problem.
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Expert Comment

by:miv
ID: 1335573
What´s happening Andrew ?
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by:andrewjb
ID: 1335574
Sorry, miv, just checking that it actually works.....
No problems so far. Still no reply from Borland!
Here are your points !
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