MzTake: A Scriptable Debugger

The scripting in MzTake is done in the FrTime language. This connection is based on the observation that the program being monitored is a source of events, and FrTime is designed well to receive events from the outside world. Therefore, the script programmer has the full power of FrTime (which includes almost all of Scheme, graphical routines and some rudimentary GUI support, in addition to several event-based programming primitives) for automating program monitoring.

The site includes several examples that are worth checking even if you aren't planning on installing MzTake.

I like the idea of program monitoring. It is related to the notion of instrumentation, which is of course a well known sofware design technique.

This is yet another example of how language design can help handle software engineering issues.

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More Great Stuff From PLT

The Rice-and-friends PLT team just keeps cranking out great stuff. In order to install and try out PLT-Redex I had to install a daily CVS build of the forthcoming post-208 DrScheme, which is totally worth doing. If you're familiar with DrScheme, you know it includes MrSpidey (historical)/MrFlow(current), a very nice static analyzer based on soft typing (this one's for you, Anton :-); FrTime (Functional Reactive Programming in Scheme), upon which MzTake is based; and of course the just-mentioned "reduction semantics" library, which has also been recently discussed here. In digging around my daily CVS pull, I see that they also have reimplemented Algol 60 (!) and much of O'Caml (!) This is in addition to all of the "How to Design Programs," "TeachScheme," "Essentials of Programming Languages," etc. support. DrScheme really is becoming a comprehensive, er, Programming Language Theory workbench.

My next little personal project will be to reimplement David McAllester's "Ontic" using the reduction semantics library. Wish me luck.

Dataflow Language for Scriptable Debugging

See also A Dataflow Language for Scriptable Debugging by Guillaume Marceau, Gregory H. Cooper, Shriram Krishnamurthi, and Steven P. Reiss.

(This was mentioned by Shriram in

Scriptable GDB with Tcl

This looks like something in a similar vein, but maybe a bit more 'nitty gritty' in its aproach.