Category: News

Ruby Memory Tracking API

By , December 1, 2006 5:15 pm

To provide the memory tracking, heap dump and object referencing facilities in Ruby Memory Validator we had to reverse engineer some hooks into the Ruby executable. This is not the easiest task in the world and beyond the abilities of anyone with less than a cursory knowledge of x86 assembly and Win32 hooking techniques.

To make it easier for this work to be done, to make it more reliable and to make these hooks available for those that just want to mainly work with Ruby and write a little C (as opposed to getting immersed in PE formats, x86 assembly and so on) we have created an extension to Ruby that provides for memory allocation and deallocation tracking, heap dumping and object reference determination. The extension is in the form of a simple C API.

You can read about this work, download the source code and download a working Ruby DLL with the extra code here.

If you have any comments, please contact support at the usual address.

Firefox 2.0 support

By , November 8, 2006 5:29 pm

We’ve just released the latest versions of all our JavaScript tools for flow tracing, code coverage, performance profiling and memory profiling. The latest versions support Firefox 2.0 as well as Firefox 1.5 and 1.0 and Flock 0.7.

Another improvement is that the JavaScript tools automatically prevent any installed debuggers from overriding the hooks required to make the JavaScript tool work. This should remove a regular source of confusion for those trying to use our tools when they have a JavaScript debugger installed.

Finally we’ve improved the JavaScript parsing and also the source code colouring.

Time to start talking…

By , November 3, 2006 5:30 pm

We get feedback from customers from time to time. The feedback tells us about how useful our tools are, about any features in the tools that frustrate them or features they would like to see in the software. Occasionally we also get asked what we are working on and where we are going next.

I usually give a broad brush reponse to this question or if I know the person from previous email I may give a more detailed response. We have decided to add a blog to the site so that we can communicate a bit more about what we are doing and also so that we can announce a bit more clearly any cool things we’ve done that make using the tools that bit easier.

For example, wouldn’t it be great if we could detect that Venkman was trying to load and stop it, so that Venkman and our JavaScript tools don’t fight each other? Thats a common request and its been frustrating living with the fact that Venkman and FireBug (and any other JavaScript debugger) will stamp all over the hooks we’ve put in place and effectively disable our JavaScript software tools. No More! Our next release of JavaScript tools will not require you to uninstall or disable Venkman/Firebug etc.

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