New beginings: From GDB to Eclipse (to Autotools ?)

After over two years in the GDB team, I am now joining the eclipse team in Red Hat.

I have had fun working on GDB on expression evaluation and most recently python scripting support. GDB Python scripting deserves a series of blog posts and tutorials. It enables you do do such cool things as: writing custom type printers (pretty printers), adding custom commands, and most recently (in HEAD) listening for GDB events such as a breakpoint being hit. For now, if you are interested in this I will point you to the very well written GDB Manual section 23.2.

I am excited about moving to Eclipse, and have looked forward to this move for a while. Until recently I was undecided about what to work on in eclipse. That is until I read this blog post. There is no denying that what Autotools enable us to do is awesome; configuring and building source code easily and cross-platfomly by automating the near impossible writing of makefiles to do so (… or so I have read :)). The problem with Autotools is the learning curve. There is a lot that one must learn before accessing this awesomeness.

This brings me to what I would like to do with Eclipse. The problem is the learning curve, and the solution is to create an eclipse plugin which makes it ridiculously easy to write and edit Autotools scripts.

I don’t know how I’ll do it, I don’t really know if it is possible, and, to be honest, I don’t know much about Autotools. I have started by reading this book. Autotools Mythbuster was also recommended. I’ll read it next.

If you have any thoughts on this, think it is impossible, think it is possible, have recommended readings or suggestions please let me know.

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51 Responses to “New beginings: From GDB to Eclipse (to Autotools ?)”

  1. hedayat Says:

    Hmmm… I’d personally suggest CMake if I were in charge. It is much better specially in being a cross-platform solution. It’d be nice if Eclipse could manage CMake files automatically… :P
    BTW, working on autotools is also nice :P

  2. Charlie Says:

    Sami,
    I’m starting to debug apps and have never used a debugger before. Should I start with GDB or Eclipse? The book I’m reading suggest GDB however, Eclipse seems like it’s more feature rich and the future. Is this wrong? I will be debugging apps on Mac while programs are windows.

    Thanks in advance

    • slamy Says:

      Hi Charlie,

      The eclipse debugger is just a user interface. I uses GDB in the cover. I think that if you are just starting you should use Eclipse (which is really GDB through eclipse). It integrates nicely with you development environment, and does not require context switching.

      I personally used Eclipse event when I was developing on GDB :)

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