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Debugging Applications (DV-MPS Programming) Paperback – February 26, 2000


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Product Details

  • Series: DV-MPS Programming
  • Paperback: 250 pages
  • Publisher: Microsoft Press (February 26, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0735608865
  • ISBN-13: 978-0735608863
  • Product Dimensions: 7.4 x 1.4 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.3 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,031,219 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

John Robbins book is clearly written and easy to follow.
Eric
Notwithstanding all of those, this is an excellent book, and you will probably get a good return on your investment in time and money.
J H Murphy
Every developer that aspire to be a serious developer should read it and reread it.
Osiris Pedroso

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

19 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Osiris Pedroso on March 11, 2000
Format: Paperback
John Robbins did a great job on this book. I was very impressed both on the depth and breadth of the issues treated.
At first, I though on skipping the chapter on Visual Basic debugging, since I am strictly a VC++ developer, but I am glad I did not. Even that chapter gave me insights that I can use on my day to day, for example, when he runs the VB compiler while in the debugger and is able to see how VB uses the C compiler's code generation (second pass).
Some great insights and lots of good example on how to resolve problems and how to use all the capabilities of the debugger to ones best advantage.
It will teach you what to do when the debugger gets you to a source line that before that line, everything is working properly, after that line the world has turned upside down. It will teach you enough X86 assembly to make you dangerous and be able to read between the (source) lines in the process. Even if you thought you knew it already.
Could it be improved ? Yes, can't it always ? Coverage on tracking memory leaks could be expanded, for example, to cover MFC's shortcomings when reporting them, but this book is a close to perfection as I have seen them.
And it is a great read too. His style is easy to follow, even though some of the subjects are deep and complex, but John transfers the knowledge so easily, it is amazing.
Once I completed my first read, I really felt like I had just finished listening to a very good rendition of a Beethoven or Mozart simphony.
Every developer that aspire to be a serious developer should read it and reread it.
And thank you, John Robbins. I will be buying every book you write.
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful By EJ Bartelds on March 5, 2000
Format: Paperback
When I first heard John Robbins was writing a book on Win32 debugging, I was delighted. I've been a fan of his MSJ Bugslayer articles since the beginning, and John's debugging knowledge, displayed in those articles, has helped me tremendously.
However, for someone who has read all his MSJ work, this book is a bit of a disappointment. The reason is that the second part of the book is a collection of his (slightly-rewritten) MSJ articles, with almost no new content added as far as I can see.
The first part of the book, however, is worth every dollar, as other reviewers have already mentioned, even though I was missing coverage of the WinDbg debugger, and MS tools such as userdump. Maybe in a second edition?
To summarize, I suspect this book to be a 5-star for anyone who is fairly new to debugging and has not read John's MSJ columns. For others, who have been exposed to his columns, and have some experience, I'd rate this book 3-stars.
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Dick on February 14, 2000
Format: Paperback
This is a very good book which teaches one important lessons on window application debugging. Debugging is used to be a black art. Personally, I learnt in the hard way i.e. using the "pull you hair off" approach, :(. However, John Robbins focus on the issue on understanding the project scope, learning the sofware technology and using proper debugging tools. It makes the debugging a process which we, the developers, can learn.
Althought, the book is focused on Windows application debugging but the principles and the rationale can be applied to other environment, e.g. Linux.
Also the John Robbins writing style is fun and friendly. Highly recommended.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on May 21, 2000
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I've been programming for 16 years with 10 of those years under the Windows environment. This is, by far, the best book on debugging that I've ever had the pleasure of reading. Granted, debugging is a nebulus topic, but Mr. Robbins does a fantastic job of capturing the meat of Windows debugging. If you've ever spent endless long hours trying to debug an application, then this book is for you!
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By J H Murphy on May 21, 2002
Format: Paperback
I have four debugging books on the shelf above my monitor. This is the one I refer to most. I have over 30 years programming experience, about ten in C and C++, and I find that this book is an excellent resource. I still haven't read it cover to cover, and the CD is still sealed - much of it is on MSDN in some form anyway - so some of the other review complaints may have merit. Notwithstanding all of those, this is an excellent book, and you will probably get a good return on your investment in time and money.
For the record, the other three books are:
- Windows 2000 Kernel Debugging - may be more useful for device driver debugging
- Debugging Windows Programs - not bad, perhaps a little less intense than this book
- Debugging C++ - This is probably a little light for me, but I have a lot of background in debugging from other platforms. If you find the John Robbins book too challenging, this may be a good start
And this last brings up the only possible shortcoming of this book. I think the reader needs a certain level of knowledge, experience, and commitment to being a professional Windows programmer to get the most value from it. If you have these qualities, this book is invaluable. If not, you may find it very useful as you get more experience. Excellent choice in any event.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By developer on April 4, 2002
Format: Paperback
You deliver a product. Soon an e-mail arrives - its crashed. "The register are .., the stack (and values) is .., the process address space is partitioned as follows (with values) .., the OS is ...". Now get real !! This book will give you the full info on how to get all that info from a crash (ie. to **write your own "core" dump**), and the user can send it to you - then you can hopefully backtrack to its origin. It gives you all the necessary info on assembly language (the book is worth getting just for this), but also the deep knowledge needed to track down almost any bugs - this is because it **actually shows you how to write a debugger**, and this imparts to you the "deep" info you need to know. Normal debugger usage is covered, but I regard this as trivial compared to the rest of the book. Compared to McKay's book, it is much deeper and goes into the "dirty stuff" that a "real" application programmer would need. An earlier review stated "why would anyone want to know how debuggers work"; all I can say is that anyone who thinks like this should not get this book (and should not be coding either). Oh yes, I am sorry to say I am also not going to give any petty criticism about something missing off the CD. But I will say that .COD files should have been mentioned. You can get these by setting the listing option on the VC++ project/options/C++ tab to source/assembly/machine_code - these are indispensable (with or without a .PDB - look at them and you will know why), but this is forgivable considering how good this book is. Get McKays book as well - it is still a very good book but the focus is at a higher level.
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