Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Eclipse Debugger for C/C++ (EDC)

I'm very happy to announce that the sources for EDC, the Eclipse Debugger for C/C++, are now in the Eclipse CVS repository. EDC is a new component of the CDT project that provides a complete architecture for C/C++ debugging within Eclipse/CDT.

The Carbide team started developing EDC after setting on a new course that would open up nearly all of our development tools to either the Eclipse or Symbian communities. We couldn't continue using closed source debug components that were becoming difficult to enhance and maintain so we needed something new. We looked at existing open source debug technologies but concluded they wouldn't meet our needs. With the rare opportunity to start from scratch we decided we wanted a debugger that was perfectly tuned with Eclipse, focused on C/C++ development, had ground-up support for multiple cores/contexts, and a modern accessible design that would easily support new features. We also wanted to do the development in the open, in the same community that has supported our efforts over the past five years.

Building EDC has been much easier than it would have been a few years ago. The advances in the debug platform, the creation of the Debug Services Framework (DSF) in CDT, and the development of the Target Communications Framework (TCF) all provided essential building blocks. EDC is working on top of and between these components,  filling in the gaps and building out all the pieces required for a full working debugger.

While we wanted to develop EDC in the open we also wanted to get enough of the basics working so that when we contributed the code people would be able to easily try it out. So while we worked on all of the basic things a debugger should do we tried to keep the CDT community informed about our progress. Now that the starter code is in we'll be making our continuing work more visible, moving discussions into the eclipse bugzilla from our internal one. There is still a lot of work to do but now we're in a position to do it in collaboration with the community.

I've started building information about EDC on the CDT wiki here. EDC is not yet part of the regular CDT build but I hope to add it soon.