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Debugging Scientific Applications in the .NET Framework David Abramson and Greg Watson

Summary: Debugging Scientific Applications in the .NET Framework
David Abramson and Greg Watson
School of Computer Science & Software Engineering,
Monash University,
The Microsoft .NET Framework represents a major advance over previous runtime environments available for Windows
platforms and offers a number of architectural features that would be of value in scientific programs. However there are such
major differences between.NET and legacy environments under both Windows and Unix, that the effort of migrating software
is substantial. Accordingly, software migration is unlikely to occur unless tools are developed for supporting this process. In
this paper we discuss a `relative debugger' called Guard which provides powerful support for debugging programs as they
are ported from one environment or platform to another. We describe a prototype implementation developed for Microsoft's
Visual Studio.NET - a rich interactive environment that supports code development for the .NET Framework. The paper
discusses the overall architecture of Guard under VS.NET and highlights some of the technical challenges that were
encountered during its development. A simple case study is provided that demonstrates the effectiveness of relative debugging
in locating subtle errors that occur when even a minor upgrade is attempted from one version of a language to another. For
this example, we illustrate the use of relative debugging using a Visual Basic program that was ported from Visual Basic 6.0
to Visual Basic .NET.


Source: Abramson, David - Caulfield School of Information Technology, Monash University


Collections: Computer Technologies and Information Sciences