The Moldable Debugger: A Framework for Developing Domain-Specific Debuggers

Chis, Andrei; Girba, Tudor; Nierstrasz, Oscar (2014). The Moldable Debugger: A Framework for Developing Domain-Specific Debuggers. In: Combemale, Benoî; Pearce, David J.; Barais, Olivier; Vinju, Jurgen J. (eds.) Software Language Engineering. Lecture Notes in Computer Science: Vol. 8706 (pp. 102-121). Springer International Publishing 10.1007/978-3-319-11245-9_6

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Debuggers are crucial tools for developing object-oriented software systems as they give developers direct access to the running systems. Nevertheless, traditional debuggers rely on generic mechanisms to explore and exhibit the execution stack and system state, while developers reason about and formulate domain-specific questions using concepts and abstractions from their application domains. This creates an abstraction gap between the debugging needs and the debugging support leading to an inefficient and error-prone debugging effort. To reduce this gap, we propose a framework for developing domain-specific debuggers called the Moldable Debugger. The Moldable Debugger is adapted to a domain by creating and combining domain-specific debugging operations with domain-specific debugging views, and adapts itself to a domain by selecting, at run time, appropriate debugging operations and views. We motivate the need for domain-specific debugging, identify a set of key requirements and show how our approach improves debugging by adapting the debugger to several domains.

Item Type:

Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)


08 Faculty of Science > Institute of Computer Science (INF)
08 Faculty of Science > Institute of Computer Science (INF) > Software Composition Group (SCG) [discontinued]

UniBE Contributor:

Chis, Vasile-Andrei, Nierstrasz, Oscar


000 Computer science, knowledge & systems
500 Science > 510 Mathematics




Lecture Notes in Computer Science


Springer International Publishing




Oscar Nierstrasz

Date Deposited:

23 Apr 2015 09:26

Last Modified:

02 Mar 2023 23:26

Publisher DOI:


Uncontrolled Keywords:

scg-pub snf-asa; scg14 jb15 debugging; development environments; customization




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