A promising approach for debugging remote promises

Leske, Max; Chis, Vasile-Andrei; Nierstrasz, Oscar Marius (2016). A promising approach for debugging remote promises. In: Proceedings of the 11th edition of the International Workshop on Smalltalk Technologies. IWST' 16. Prague. 23.-24.08.2016. 10.1145/2991041.2991059

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Promises are synchronization constructs that hide the complexity of process synchronisation from the developer by providing a placeholder for the result of a potentially incomplete computation performed in a concurrent process. Promises evaluated by remote processes pose challenges for debugging when the remote computation raises an exception. Current debuggers are either unaware that there is a problem in the remote computation or give developers access only to the context of the remote process. This does not allow developers to interact at the same time with the process that launched the promise and the remote process that executed the promise's computation. To improve debugging of remote promises, in this paper we propose a debugger interface that presents a unified view of both the original and the remote process, by merging the call chains of the two processes at the point where the promise was created. We exemplify our approach, discuss challenges for making it practical, and illustrate through an initial prototype that it can improve debugging of exceptions in remote promises.

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






Oscar Nierstrasz

Date Deposited:

03 Feb 2017 15:43

Last Modified:

02 Mar 2023 23:28

Publisher DOI:


Uncontrolled Keywords:

scg-pub, snf-asa2, scg16, jb16, debugging, concurrency, threads, Andrei Chis, internationalworkshop





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