Re: [Rd] Am I missing something about debugging?

From: Ross Boylan <ross_at_biostat.ucsf.edu>
Date: Tue 02 Jan 2007 - 22:46:06 GMT

On Tue, 2007-01-02 at 17:24 -0500, Duncan Murdoch wrote:
> I don't think you're missing anything with the debug() function. It
> needs updating.
Bummer!
>
> I don't think there's any structural reason why you shouldn't be able to
> do the things you're talking about in R, but they haven't been
> implemented.
>
That's good to know. I was wondering if the lexical scoping was complicating things. At least the way I think of it, every call has two sets of (potentially) nested environments: the lexical scopes of the function definition and the dynamic scopes of the call. But since the dynamic scopes are available, using them seems possible.

> Mark Bravington put together a package (called debug) that does more
> than debug() does, but I haven't used it much, and I don't know if it
> does what you want.
>
It looked to me as if it was some help, but no advance on the investigating dynamic frames front.

> I recently added things to the R parser to keep track of connections
> between R code and source files; that was partly meant as a first step
> towards improving the debugging facilities. I'd be happy to help anyone
> who wants to do the hard work, but I don't think I'll be able to work on
> it before next summer. (If you do decide to work on it, please let me
> know, just in case I do get a chance: no point duplicating effort.)
I didn't even realize such a facility was needed, which shows how much I know! Working on the debugger is probably not in my job description, unless I get really annoyed.

The smalltalk debugger is the standard by which I judge all others; it's just amazing. You can go up and down the stack, graphically examine variables (and follow links), and change code in the middle of debugging and then continue.

Ross



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