Programming Tools

Along with languages and compilers, there is a plethora of programming tools out there, including libraries, interface builders, debuggers, and other utilities to aid the programming process. In this section, we’ll talk about some of the most interesting bells and whistles of these tools to let you know what’s available.


Several interactive debuggers are available for Linux. The de facto standard debugger is gdb, which we just covered in detail.

In addition to gdb, there are several other debuggers, each with features very similar to gdb. xxgdb is a version of gdb with an X Window System interface similar to that found on the xdbx debugger on other Unix systems. There are several panes in the xxgdb debugger’s window. One pane looks like the regular gdb text interface, allowing you to input commands manually to interact with the system. Another pane automatically displays the current source file along with a marker displaying the current line. You can use the source pane to set and select breakpoints, browse the source, and so on, while typing commands directly to gdb. The xxgdb window also contains several buttons that provide quick access to frequently used commands, such as step, next, and so on. Given the buttons, you can use the mouse in conjunction with the keyboard to debug your program within an easy-to-use X interface.

Two other graphical frontends for gdb deserve mention. DDD, the Data Display Debugger, has the same features as xxgdb but with ...

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