[IronPython] Debugging support PythonEngine

Shri Borde Shri.Borde at microsoft.com
Fri Aug 11 21:03:39 CEST 2006

Yes, we will definitely be working on improving the debugging support as it is a critical part of the development process.  However, full support will need work in all parts of the tool chain including VS.

Python local variables are implemented as normal MSIL variables (except in cases like closures). Hence, VS is able to display them.

Currently, the best way to debug Python functions in VS while using PythonEngine would be to enable EngineOptions.ClrDebuggingEnable, open the PY file in VS and put a breakpoint where you want. Stepping in and out of Python functions will step you through methods in IronPython.dll .

From: users-bounces at lists.ironpython.com [mailto:users-bounces at lists.ironpython.com] On Behalf Of Kristof Wagemans
Sent: Friday, August 11, 2006 12:36 AM
To: 'Discussion of IronPython'
Subject: Re: [IronPython] Debugging support PythonEngine

Are there plans to improve the debugging experience in the future or are you at a point where it is "as good as it gets"? Being able to debug makes writing and using python scripts a lot easier.
Inside functions I can see not only the function parameters but also the newly defined local variables. Are these different from the global variables? I would have expected that the function locals are also stored inside a dictionary.
Is it possible to step into python functions without getting into assembly instructions? This is very frustrating and degrades the debugging experience a lot. This is the more important issue for me. I'm not going to be using global variables frequently, but mostly functions loaded in the PythonEngine that are called from C#.

From: users-bounces at lists.ironpython.com [mailto:users-bounces at lists.ironpython.com] On Behalf Of Shri Borde
Sent: Friday 11 August 2006 0:30
To: Discussion of IronPython
Cc: Glenn Hackney
Subject: Re: [IronPython] Debugging support PythonEngine

If EngineOptions.ClrDebuggingEnabled is set, we use AssemblyBuilder, TypeBuilder, etc for PythonEngine.Executed. The code generated by AssemblyBuilder, TypeBuilder, etc supports PDB debug information tracking for the methods, and so you will be able to set breakpoints in the code. However, it does not guarantee a perfect debugging experience. PythonEngine.ExecuteFile will use a dictionary for storing global variables, and these will not be visible because VS does not know about the dictionary. If you use PythonEngine.CreateOptimizedModule, most global variables are implemented using CLR statics, and so VS may be able to display them for you. Global variables added using an exec statement will still not be visible.

If EngineOptions.ClrDebuggingEnabled is false, we will use System.Reflection.Emit.DynamicMethod. This does not support debug information tracking at all, and you will not even be able to see function variables.

So If EngineOptions.ClrDebuggingEnabled is will improve your debugging experience, but it wont give you a perfect experience.

Do you want to help develop Dynamic languages on CLR?<http://members.microsoft.com/careers/search/details.aspx?JobID=6D4754DE-11F0-45DF-8B78-DC1B43134038> (http://members.microsoft.com/careers/search/details.aspx?JobID=6D4754DE-11F0-45DF-8B78-DC1B43134038)
From: users-bounces at lists.ironpython.com [mailto:users-bounces at lists.ironpython.com] On Behalf Of Kristof Wagemans
Sent: Thursday, August 10, 2006 2:10 PM
To: Discussion of IronPython
Subject: [IronPython] Debugging support PythonEngine

I have been experimenting with the debugging support for the PythonEngine. When I use the following code I have several problems.

PythonEngine _pe;
EngineOptions options = new EngineOptions();
options.ClrDebuggingEnabled = true;
_pe = new PythonEngine(options);
_pe.ExecuteFile(@"  <script>  ");

Test script:

x = 1
y = 2

def Add(a, b):
    return a + b

z = Add(x, y)
print z

I opened the script file in Visual Studio and placed a breakpoint at the beginning of the file. The application runs and breaks at the correct location. Stepping through the lines works, but I cannot see any values of the global variables.
When I try to step into the function I get a notification that there is no source code available and I must show the disassembly. After I step several times through the assembly instructions I can return to the original source code. Inside the function I can see the values of the function variables.
I have tried debugging ipy.exe with the script and there I can see the global variables, but I still have the problem with stepping into a function. In ipy.exe the script file is executed in a different way. Using the same method I can also see the global variables with my PythonEngine instance. I apparently don't need to set ClrDebuggingEnabled in this case.

PythonEngine _pe;
_pe = new PythonEngine();
OptimizedEngineModule engineModule = _pe.CreateOptimizedModule(@"  <script>  ", "__main__", true);

Are you required to use an OptimizedEngineModule to be able to debug completely? Am I forgetting some settings for debugging? Can I step directly into a function without getting into the assembly instructions?

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