How to use the Ecstasy Debugger

Until recently, debugging Ecstasy code was an exercise in frustration, because there was no debugger. One could step through the interpreter's operations in a Java debugger, which was not for the faint of heart. The alternative, not surprisingly, was to sprinkle one's code with print statements, such as:

@Inject Console console;
console.println($"The value of i={i}");

Need to see another variable? Change the code, recompile, and run again. Repeat until everything works.

This is, of course, how all programmers used to debug code, back between the invention of the printing press and the invention of the interactive debugger.

So it should come as no surprise that Ecstasy now has an interactive debugger. Albeit, currently prototyped in text mode.

To enable the debugger, add a single line to your test:


 Or to enable it on a particular condition:

assert:debug i != 3;

That will pop you into the interactive debugger mode:

Call stack frames:              | Variables and watches:
>0 TestSimple.run():10 | 0 this = (TestSimple.test.org)
1 Service TestSimple.test.org | 1 i = (Int) 3

Now you can type '?' for help, which displays all of the debugger commands, including breakpoint management, code stepping (in/out/thru), watches, and so on.

And yes, it is text mode, so it looks like some legit UNIX tool from 1995. Need a GUI? We'll need to finish project X-wing to build that! 🤣