The Moldable Debugger: A Framework for Developing Domain-Specific Debuggers

  • Andrei Chiş
  • Tudor Gîrba
  • Oscar Nierstrasz
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 8706)


Debuggers are crucial tools for developing object-oriented software systems as they give developers direct access to the running systems. Nevertheless, traditional debuggers rely on generic mechanisms to explore and exhibit the execution stack and system state, while developers reason about and formulate domain-specific questions using concepts and abstractions from their application domains. This creates an abstraction gap between the debugging needs and the debugging support leading to an inefficient and error-prone debugging effort. To reduce this gap, we propose a framework for developing domain-specific debuggers called the Moldable Debugger. The Moldable Debugger is adapted to a domain by creating and combining domain-specific debugging operations with domain-specific debugging views, and adapts itself to a domain by selecting, at run time, appropriate debugging operations and views. We motivate the need for domain-specific debugging, identify a set of key requirements and show how our approach improves debugging by adapting the debugger to several domains.


Domain Concept Activation Predicate Execution Context Primitive Predicate Grammar Production 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Andrei Chiş
    • 1
  • Tudor Gîrba
    • 2
  • Oscar Nierstrasz
    • 1
  1. 1.Software Composition GroupUniversity of BernBernSwitzerland
  2. 2.CompuGroup Medical Schweiz AGBernSwitzerland

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