[llvm-dev] Running debuginfo-tests with Dexter

Adrian Prantl via llvm-dev llvm-dev at lists.llvm.org
Mon Jun 24 09:31:44 PDT 2019

I think generally this is a good idea, with one caveat. Currently Dexter is a separate MIT-licensed tool. Would it be possible for Sony to contribute Dexter itself to the LLVM project? Perhaps even inside the debuginfo-tests repository? For many users, this would remove friction for using it and contributing bugfixes back.

-- adrian

> On Jun 19, 2019, at 8:27 AM, Jeremy Morse via llvm-dev <llvm-dev at lists.llvm.org> wrote:
> Hi llvm-dev@,
> There's been some renewed interest in integration tests for debuginfo,
> checking that debuggers interpret LLVMs output in the way we expect.
> Paul suggested a while back [0] that our (Sony's) Dexter [1] tool
> could be a useful driver for running debuginfo tests -- I'd like to
> ask whether people think this would be desirable course to take, and
> what the requirements for using Dexter in these integration tests
> would be.
> Background: the plan with Dexter was to try and quantify the quality
> of debugging experience that a developer received when debugging their
> program. That allows integration testing between LLVM and debuggers,
> and coupled with a test-suite a measurement of "how good" a particular
> compiler is at preserving debug info. A full summary is best found in
> Greg's 5-minute lightning talk [2,3] on the topic. Dexter's
> significant parts are its abstraction of debugger APIs, a language to
> describe expected debug behaviour, and scoring of "how bad"
> divergences from the expected debug behaviour are.
> Some examples of Dexter tests can be found at [4], where we wrote
> various tests to measure how much debuginfo was destroyed by different
> LLVM passes.
> As far as I understand it, the existing debuginfo-tests [5] contain
> debugger commands that are fed into a debugger, and the debugger
> output is FileCheck'd. This works directly for gdb, and there's a thin
> layer (llgdb.py) for driving lldb, but windows-based cdb has a very
> different input language and has its own set of tests. An obvious win
> would be unifying these, which is something Dexter could be adapted to
> do. I'm sure most agree, it would be better to declare the expected
> behaviour in some language and have other scripting compare it with
> the real behaviour, than to put highly coupled-to-the-debugger
> interrogation commands and output examination in the tests.
> We can easily specialise Dexter to consider any divergence from
> expected behaviour to be an error, giving us a pass/fail test tool.
> Some existing tests examine types, which Dexter doesn't currently do
> (but we're working on). What other objectives would there be for a
> debugger integration tool? There was mention in [0] of tests for
> Microsoft specific extensions (I assume extended debugging
> facilities), knowing the scope of extra information involved would
> help us design around it.
> Note that the current Dexter codebase is going to be significantly
> remangled, we're trying to decouple the expected-behaviour language
> from the debugger-abstractions summary of how the program behaved.
> [0] https://reviews.llvm.org/D54187#1290282
> [1] https://github.com/SNSystems/dexter
> [2] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XRT_GmpGjXE
> [3] https://llvm.org/devmtg/2018-04/slides/Bedwell-Measuring_the_User_Debugging_Experience.pdf
> [4] https://github.com/jmorse/dexter/tree/f46f13f778484ed5c6f7bf33b8fc2d4837ff7265/tests/nostdlib/llvm_passes
> [5] https://github.com/llvm/llvm-project/tree/master/debuginfo-tests
> --
> Thanks,
> Jeremy
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