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Re: [cdt-dev] Question on future debugger interface

On Monday 14 July 2008 21:46:24 Pawel Piech wrote:
> Hi Rick,
> You may also want to consider the TCF debugger protocol currently being 
> developed in the Target Management project (see 
> http://wiki.eclipse.org/DSDP/TM/TCF_FAQ).  It already has a reference 
> agent implementation (in C) that you could re-use, which would save you 
> the headache of implementing the MI protocol layer from scratch. 
> Also, as Marc pointed out GDB/MI protocol is evolving quite a lot to 
> support new features and keeping up with its changes will likely require 
> considerable effort.  This shouldn't be a big surprise, as from my past 
> discussions with GDB developers I got the impression that GDB/MI as a 
> standard protocol to be implemented by other debuggers is definitely not 
> on their agenda. 

I find the combination of "got the impression" and "definitely" wordings to
be confusing :-)

There was an attempt to standardize MI, under the name of DMI. Ideally, you have 
to standardize existing implementation. Of course, you can use design-by-committee 
approach, and specify something fresh, but it has the obvious risks that the spec 
will either be broken, or hard to implement. MI has the important advantage here,
in that it's used by several frontends, and any changes, such as non-stop behaviour,
are relatively easy to test in the field. 

The previous attempt to standardise MI never took off, partially for management issues,
and partially because MI was not actively developed, so it was not clear (at least to me,
from a frontend developer perspective), how to standardize something that's not done yet.
I think some progress was made recently, and whatever MI we get after non-stop and
multi-process bits are in will be sufficiently functional and stable to rubber-stamp it,
if somebody wants that :-)

- Volodya