Colin Walls, Mentor Graphics
embedded.com (December 21, 2015)
Debugging represents a very significant part of an embedded software development project. All developers have their own favorite approaches and each one has its strengths and weaknesses. A key issue is how intrusive the debug tools are - i.e. the extent to which debugging software affects the functionality of the code. This is not a black and white issue, as a number of factors and priorities need to be considered. This article outlines different approaches to debugging, from the perspective of intrusion, and also considers the implications with respect to code optimization.
What is intrusive debug?
There are two parameters that characterize any piece of code: size and speed. In broad terms, intrusive debug may be anything that affects either of these factors.
A number common debug techniques involve the incorporation of additional code into the application, the sole function of which is to facilitate debug. This affects the overall memory footprint and may have an effect on the execution time of the application code. There may also be unexpected side-effects caused by the use of this code.
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