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Perl Debugger Stepping Commands

Classic feature of any debugger worth its name is the ability to execute a program one statement at a time. This is called stepping

The s Command

Command s executes a single statement of your program and stops before the next statement:

  DB<2> s
main::(debugtest:4):        $curdir = "";

This command executes one statement of your program and then displays the next statement to be executed. If the statement executed needs to read from the standard input file, the debugger waits until the input is provided before displaying the next line to execute.

TIP If you have forgotten which line is the next line to execute (because, for example, you have displayed lines using the l command), you can list the next line to execute using the L command:
DB<2> L 
3: $dircount = 0;
The L command lists the last lines executed by the program. It also lists any breakpoints and line actions that have been defined for particular lines. Breakpoints and line actions are discussed later today.

If the statement executed by the s command calls a subroutine, the Perl debugger enters the subroutine but does not execute any statements in it. Instead, it stops at the first executable statement in the subroutine and displays it. For example, if the following is the current line:

main::(debugtest:12):                      &readsubdirs($curdir);

specifying the s command tells the Perl debugger to enter readsubdirs and display the following, which is the first executable line of readsubdirs:

main::readsubdirs(debugtest:27):      local ($dirname) = @_;

The s command assumes that you want to debug the subroutine you have entered. If you know that a particular subroutine works properly and you don't want to step through it one statement at a time, use the n command, described in the following section.

The n Command

The n command, like the s command, executes one line of your program and displays the next line to be executed:

  DB<2> n
main::(debugtest:5):        while (1) {

The n statement, however, does not enter any subroutines. If the statement executed by n contains a subroutine call, the subroutine is executed in its entirety. After the subroutine is executed, the debugger displays the line immediately following the call.

For example, if the current line is

main::(debugtest:12):                      &readsubdirs($curdir);

the n command tells the debugger to execute readsubdirs and then display the next line in the program, which is

main::(debugtest:13:):             }

Combining the use of s and n ensures that the debugger examines only the subroutines you want to see.

NOTE
The Perl debugger does not enable you to enter any library functions. You can enter only subroutines that you have created yourself or that have been created previously and added to a subroutine library

The f command

The f command tells the Perl debugger to execute the remainder of the statements in the current subroutine and then display the line immediately after the subroutine call. This is useful when you are looking for a bug and have determined that the current subroutine does not contain the problem.

The Carriage-Return Command

If you are stepping through a program using s or n, you can save yourself some typing by just pressing Enter when you want to execute another statement. When you press Enter, the debugger repeats the last s or n command executed.

For example, to step from line 5 to line 7, you can use the s command as usual:

  DB<3> s
main::(debugtest:7):              if ($curdir eq "") {

(Line 6 is skipped because it contains no executable statements.) To execute line 7, you can now just press Enter:

  DB<2>
main::(debugtest:8):              print ("Enter directory to list:\n");
NOTE
Pressing Enter has no effect if you have not specified any s or n commands.

The r Command

If you are inside a subroutine and decide that you no longer need to step through it, you can tell the Perl debugger to finish executing the subroutine and return to the statement after the subroutine call. To do this, use the r command:

  DB<4> r
main::(debugtest:13:):             }

The statement displayed by the debugger is the first statement following the call to the subroutine.



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Bulletin:

Vol 25, No.12 (December, 2013) Rational Fools vs. Efficient Crooks The efficient markets hypothesis : Political Skeptic Bulletin, 2013 : Unemployment Bulletin, 2010 :  Vol 23, No.10 (October, 2011) An observation about corporate security departments : Slightly Skeptical Euromaydan Chronicles, June 2014 : Greenspan legacy bulletin, 2008 : Vol 25, No.10 (October, 2013) Cryptolocker Trojan (Win32/Crilock.A) : Vol 25, No.08 (August, 2013) Cloud providers as intelligence collection hubs : Financial Humor Bulletin, 2010 : Inequality Bulletin, 2009 : Financial Humor Bulletin, 2008 : Copyleft Problems Bulletin, 2004 : Financial Humor Bulletin, 2011 : Energy Bulletin, 2010 : Malware Protection Bulletin, 2010 : Vol 26, No.1 (January, 2013) Object-Oriented Cult : Political Skeptic Bulletin, 2011 : Vol 23, No.11 (November, 2011) Softpanorama classification of sysadmin horror stories : Vol 25, No.05 (May, 2013) Corporate bullshit as a communication method  : Vol 25, No.06 (June, 2013) A Note on the Relationship of Brooks Law and Conway Law

History:

Fifty glorious years (1950-2000): the triumph of the US computer engineering : Donald Knuth : TAoCP and its Influence of Computer Science : Richard Stallman : Linus Torvalds  : Larry Wall  : John K. Ousterhout : CTSS : Multix OS Unix History : Unix shell history : VI editor : History of pipes concept : Solaris : MS DOSProgramming Languages History : PL/1 : Simula 67 : C : History of GCC developmentScripting Languages : Perl history   : OS History : Mail : DNS : SSH : CPU Instruction Sets : SPARC systems 1987-2006 : Norton Commander : Norton Utilities : Norton Ghost : Frontpage history : Malware Defense History : GNU Screen : OSS early history

Classic books:

The Peter Principle : Parkinson Law : 1984 : The Mythical Man-MonthHow to Solve It by George Polya : The Art of Computer Programming : The Elements of Programming Style : The Unix Haterís Handbook : The Jargon file : The True Believer : Programming Pearls : The Good Soldier Svejk : The Power Elite

Most popular humor pages:

Manifest of the Softpanorama IT Slacker Society : Ten Commandments of the IT Slackers Society : Computer Humor Collection : BSD Logo Story : The Cuckoo's Egg : IT Slang : C++ Humor : ARE YOU A BBS ADDICT? : The Perl Purity Test : Object oriented programmers of all nations : Financial Humor : Financial Humor Bulletin, 2008 : Financial Humor Bulletin, 2010 : The Most Comprehensive Collection of Editor-related Humor : Programming Language Humor : Goldman Sachs related humor : Greenspan humor : C Humor : Scripting Humor : Real Programmers Humor : Web Humor : GPL-related Humor : OFM Humor : Politically Incorrect Humor : IDS Humor : "Linux Sucks" Humor : Russian Musical Humor : Best Russian Programmer Humor : Microsoft plans to buy Catholic Church : Richard Stallman Related Humor : Admin Humor : Perl-related Humor : Linus Torvalds Related humor : PseudoScience Related Humor : Networking Humor : Shell Humor : Financial Humor Bulletin, 2011 : Financial Humor Bulletin, 2012 : Financial Humor Bulletin, 2013 : Java Humor : Software Engineering Humor : Sun Solaris Related Humor : Education Humor : IBM Humor : Assembler-related Humor : VIM Humor : Computer Viruses Humor : Bright tomorrow is rescheduled to a day after tomorrow : Classic Computer Humor

The Last but not Least Technology is dominated by two types of people: those who understand what they do not manage and those who manage what they do not understand ~Archibald Putt. Ph.D


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Last modified: March, 12, 2019