bugDDD - Bugs: bug #29717, DDD with remake


bug #29717: DDD with remake

Submitted by:  gnu user <gnuregisterme>
Submitted on:  Thu 29 Apr 2010 07:00:47 PM UTC  
Category: NoneSeverity: 3 - Normal
Item Group: NoneStatus: None
Privacy: PublicAssigned to: None
Open/Closed: OpenRelease: None

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Mon 31 Mar 2014 10:13:27 AM UTC, comment #3:

Ok, did some more digging and have finally got the source displaying in the source-pane, the command-tool window appears, and the green-pointer seems to be moving around from place-to-place when you do n/next.

I haven't tested thoroughly, so there may be other quirks I didn't notice.

Some of the gotchyas repaired on this occasion seemed to be related to the regular-expression used to figure out what line-number the execution is at.

Ddd has code in PosBuffer:make_filter() that attempts to read this info from remake output, eg, a line in the form (FILE:LINE), like:

"-> (/home/sgp1000/projs/ddd-git/Makefile:422)"

The catch was that the regex wasn't expecting the "->" arrow prefix at the front. It also assumed there would be a ':' colon at the end. Perhaps it was an older style of output.

Ok, I'll upload a new patch, "DDD_remake_repairs_attempt2.patch", that covers my last post's point and this stuff.

And some further insights into my last foray and my observation about it not using the decommissioned GNU RX library.

It seems that the new ddd version is more than happy to work without this rx library. It instead grabs the reg-exps from the "rxscan.L" file, so I applied the "mdb<...>" to "remake<...>" change in there, instead of my workaround in the previous attempt.

(file #31090)

Gurce Isikyildiz <gurce>
Sun 30 Mar 2014 01:31:55 PM UTC, comment #2:

One way to try to find where to look to change this migh tbe to look at the changes that were made to get this in there in the first place. Looking at svn log it seems that this was done in the pydb branch starting at r6763:

> r6763 | rockyb | 2005-11-19 22:38:12 -0500 (Sat, 19 Nov 2005) | 2 lines
> Add support for the new GNU Make debugger makedb!

Unfortunately there is not document on how to add a new debugger nor is there really a centralized place to to make changes. Too many of the changes are in files scattered hither and yon.

Rocky Bernstein <rocky>
Project Member
Sun 30 Mar 2014 11:43:33 AM UTC, comment #1:

Well, I kinda got the same message under different circumstances. Perhaps related, perhaps not. But just in-case, I'll share.

My scenario. I'm on an OpenSUSE 12.3 (32-bit) pc running the latest ddd 3.3.12 and remake (make3.82+dbg0.9).

More details on the steps to replicate my issue here:


At the end of it, after typing "exit", I still wind up with that "GDB could not be started" error message.

One additional observation; prior to me typing exit, not only is the mouse pointer an hour-glass, but in addition, I also noticed that the status bar has a message "Opening session 'abc123etc...'" stuck in it. It doesn't ever go away...

I've been doing a lot of debugging of the ddd code to try figure this out, as Rocky mentioned that nobody seems to be maintaining this ddd code anymore, it hasn't been touched since 2009.

I've got a few leads, but not a full solution yet.

I've overcome one issue. Inside "GDBAgent.C" - ends_with_prompt(), there is code to handle parsing of output from remake/gdb/bashdb/etc. There is a test to detect the prompt-message in these, eg "(gdb)" for gdb, "bashdb<...>" for bashdb, and "mdb<...>" for remake.

But the latest version of remake uses a "remake<...>"-style prompt.

So I tried tweaking the code to look for "remake<" instead, but still had problems.

There is some extra string-matching tests done that use the GNU RX library (via a RUNTIME_REGEX define).

I noticed inside "config.h" that RUNTIME_REGEX has been set to zero, with an interesting comment preceding it saying that it used to be turned on in ddd version 2.1 and older, but was turned off in newer versions (to save on memory and speed).

I thought I might be able to manually turn this setting on, as I saw this old post of somebody doing similar.


But reading here, the GNU RX library has been decommissioned.


So as an alternate workaround, I tried commenting out the use of the rx-library in the search for the "remake<...>" prompt. There is a 'possible-match' method used prior to using the rx-method, and I just contented myself with a 'possible-match' and returned true.

I tried running ddd after this tweak. It seemed to get one thing fixed, the status bar no longer has the "Opening session 'abc123etc...'" message in it, but I see a "Welcome to DDD 3.3.12 "Dale Head" (i686-pc-linux-gnu)" message instead. That sounds better...

I also see a "tip of the day" popup window, which I didn't see before.

Other elements are still missing though:

1) the 'command tools' box was missing, but I noticed I could toggle this on from the menus with "View >> Command Tool..." instead.

2) there still isn't any source displaying in the top-pane.

Hmm, ok then. I'll try debug the source-pane issue in future and hope I get to the bottom of it...

Another approach that Rocky suggested was to use an older version of remake from the time this ddd version was released. I haven't given that a try yet. (I was a bit wary of this, as I recall having problems with an older version of remake in opensuse and had to upgrade to a newer version, but I may give it a try later out of desperation)

I'll also upload my semi-finished patch, just in-case I give up on this, and somebody else wants to push the study into this issue further.

Gurce Isikyildiz <gurce>
Thu 29 Apr 2010 07:00:47 PM UTC, original submission:

I tried to use DDD with remake but got this error:

"GDB could not be started"

The command line I was using is:

ddd --remake

I am wondering what the problem is.

gnu user <gnuregisterme>


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  • -unavailable- added by rocky (Posted a comment)
  • -unavailable- added by gurce (Posted a comment)
  • -unavailable- added by gnuregisterme (Submitted the item)

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    Follow 2 latest changes.

    Date Changed By Updated Field Previous Value => Replaced By
    Mon 31 Mar 2014 10:13:27 AM UTCgurceAttached File-=>Added DDD_remake_repairs_attempt2.patch, #31090
    Sun 30 Mar 2014 11:50:59 AM UTCgurceAttached File-=>Added GDBAgent_remake_prompt_workaround.patch, #31076

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