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The Art of Debugging with GDB, DDD, and Eclipse Paperback – September 29, 2008

ISBN-13: 978-1593271749 ISBN-10: 1593271743 Edition: 1st

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 280 pages
  • Publisher: No Starch Press; 1 edition (September 29, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1593271743
  • ISBN-13: 978-1593271749
  • Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 7.1 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #86,560 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Norman Matloff, a computer science professor at UC Davis, is the author of several popular public-domain software packages and online tutorials.


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Customer Reviews

This book is an excellent introduction to debugging with GDB, DDD and Eclipse.
Frank R. Matz
The Art of Debugging isn't really much about the "art", although there is a very brief "principles of debugging" section at the beginning.
talkaboutquality
Peter asked me to review one of the sections in the book many ages ago when the book was in its infancy.
Mark K.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

30 of 32 people found the following review helpful By Mark K. on February 2, 2009
Format: Paperback
I must come clean first - I know the authors. Peter asked me to review one of the sections in the book many ages ago when the book was in its infancy. The book has progressed much since then, and I must admit this is much more than I was expecting from a book about debugging!

Chapters 1 through 3 are the starter chapters that discuss the core debugging paradigms such as breakpoints and variable analysis. Chapter 1 goes through some of the basic concepts of debugging for those new to the idea (e.g., hobbyists and just-out-of-college programmers) but it's probably less useful for those already familiar with the concept. Chapter 2 goes through the basic debugging operations, such as setting breakpoints and analyzing variables, with an emphasis on how breakpoints can be set, cleared, and triggered using various methods. Chapter 3 goes through more on how variables of different storages can be viewed and displayed.

Chapters 4 and 5 are where things start to get interesting. Chapter 4 discusses how the debugger can be used to analyze core dumps, and touches on operating system concepts just enough to be productive in debugging for those not familiar with OS architectures. Chapter 5 discusses debugging threaded applications. As examples, applications written using popular multi-threaded and multi-process libraries such as pthread, MPI, and OpenMP are discussed, which makes the chapter more practical.

Chapter 6 is an interesting chapter. Section 6.1 goes through some common compiler error messages and how one should interpret them. They're concepts all first semester programming course students should read.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By talkaboutquality VINE VOICE on September 6, 2010
Format: Paperback
The Art of Debugging isn't really much about the "art", although there is a very brief "principles of debugging" section at the beginning. It is about how to use GDB, DDD, and Eclipse effectively and completely. Very detailed guidance and examples. It's 250 pages but looks like less. If you want to become an expert at debugging software systems, there's probably no substitute for experience, but a concise tutorial on GDB and its various GUIs is a great start.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Hugh C. Lauer on September 14, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
There are not many books about debugging. This one is a useful compendium of the various techniques that any software engineer should know, So if you do not have a reasonable book about debugging, get this one. However, the title says "with GDB, DDD, and Eclipse." The book is mostly about GDB, with about 15% devoted to DDD and 5% devoted to Eclipse. That is probably okay, because it takes much more instruction to do almost any task in GDB than it does in either of the other two. However, Eclipse-only users will probably be disappointed. (There are many other books about Eclipse, but I could not find any specifically devoted to debugging.)
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Ken on October 23, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a good book for those new to GDB, which is what I was looking for. It's easy to read, and gets you into GDB quickly. At each step, the reader is shown how to do essential things like setting breakpoints, inspecting memory, and stepping through your program with easy to follow examples. The authors also show how both DDD and Eclipse work in debugging programs, as GDB is the back end for each.

The book isn't meant to be a comprehensive GDB reference, which is fine. Other books fill that role.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Amit Saha on July 27, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition
I am a programmer for several years now and have fair knowledge of using debuggers as an aid for debugging and as an aid for understanding the workings of a program (large projects included). I started reading this book with the hope of filling in the "gaps" in my knowledge of "gdb" and in general, I have seen most books will teach you at least something that you already didn't. I was more than pleased. The first half of the book itself taught me so many new things about "gdb" (I wasn't paying attention to the DDD and Eclipse aspects). The authors do a good job in introducing the nuances of debugging and how to accomplish them via "gdb". In the later half of the book, the authors discuss about tools other than "gdb" that you may find useful for detecting memory leaks, for example or using a good text editor and other such tips. The book also has a chapter on debugging multi threaded programs.

My rating of the book is based on all the new things I learned in the first half of the book and I would recommend one to buy it, if they are looking to either learn "gdb" or fill in some missing pieces in their knowledge of "gdb".

Only one area of improvement that I may suggest is that the example codes were often chosen rather "randomly", so if the same problem was solved in all of the programs in their increasing levels of complexity and use a section in the first half of the book to introduce the basic ideas of the problem, and what it would evolve into, that would be a great enhancement.
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Feng,Dong on August 17, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The lovely part is the book is written in a way to not only teach knowledge but also to inspire people think of the method of debugging. I have been inspired in reading the book to solve several problems slowing down my debugging for long while, for which the exact method is not covered by the book but without the inspiration I could not find the solution in short.

My personal feeling is, since it is already so inspiring, there is no need to cover three debuggers with overlapping functionality. Just elaborate one and say the other two have or have not equal function will be enough. It is trivial for most readers to induce the usage of the tools they are using. But it maybe for myself only.
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