Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Wide Strings Debugger Support

This past weekend I worked on adding support for visualizing wide standard strings and QT strings in the ZeroBUGS debugger. For convenience, they can be displayed as if they where regular C strings.

This feature can be turned off and on from the Edit / Options menu. Under the Language tab, if the checkbox for Qt strings is unchecked, the inner structure of the object is shown. Otherwise Qt strings are displayed as regular strings. std::string and std::wstring instances are handled in a similar fashion.

Before implementing this feature, the values of the variables displayed by the debugger where being represented as C strings.

The solution for wide strings keeps the existing design: I read the Unicode strings from the target process' memory, then call wcsrtombs to UTF-8 encode them.

And Glib::ustring takes it from there:
GTK+ and GNOME chose to implement Unicode using UTF-8, and that's what is wrapped by Glib::ustring. It provides almost exactly the same interface as std::string, along with automatic conversions to and from std::string.

It is still a new feature and it needs more testing and possibly, ahem, some debugging but overall I am pleased with the results.

And if you have any feedback regarding what features should I work on next, please take the poll in the right hand side bar, or leave a comment. Or both. Merci.

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