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Handling Error-Handling Errors: dealing with debugger bugs in Pharo

Abstract : In Pharo, errors happening during the opening of a debugger provoke error-handling errors. The Pharo system then drops into a rudimentary emergency evaluator, which provides extremely limited debugging features. This is a real problem while developing debuggers, when debuggers are more subject to bugs. In addition, the Pharo debugging infrastructure exposes an heterogeneous, obscure interface with various usages and users. Therefore, trying to extend this infrastructure to cope with debuggers bugs is tedious. In this technical paper, we present Oups, an improved debugger infrastructure for Pharo. Oups provides a unified interface as a single entry point to request the opening of debuggers. Upon a debugger opening request, Oups uses interchangeable debugger opening strategies to select which debugger to open. We implemented a strategy that allows for the debugging of a failing debugger by other debuggers instead of the emergency evaluator. Oups improves the resilience of the Pharo system for specific cases of error-handling errors that we analyse.
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Submitted on : Monday, November 16, 2020 - 11:08:25 AM
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Steven Costiou, Thomas Dupriez, Damien Pollet. Handling Error-Handling Errors: dealing with debugger bugs in Pharo. IWST20: International Workshop on Smalltalk Technologies, 2020, Online, France. ⟨10.1145/1122445.1122456⟩. ⟨hal-02992644⟩



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