The Fox - A Tool for Object Graph Analysis


Authors: Alex Potanin, James Noble, Robert Biddle, Elvis Software Design Research Group ~
Source: GZipped PostScript (785kb); Adobe PDF (68kb)

Object-oriented programs, when executed, produce a large number of objects in memory. These objects and the references between them form an \textit{object graph}. Object graphs are not obvious from the class structure underlying them, and thus it is important to study them to better understand what really happens to programs at run time. We present a query-based debugger called Fox that allows a detailed examination of snapshots taken of object graphs as programs run. Fox makes it easy to examine object structures, encapsulation and ownership properties, and it has proven essential both in our research and day to day programming.

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