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[dsdp-dd-dev] Multi-context debugging: Restart

Hi All,
Shortly before and at EclipseCon I received a lot of questions about the effort to improve the multi-context debugging experience in Ecilpse.  If I had the time, I explained what the current situation of this DD sub-group is:
  1. About a year and a half ago, I prototyped an enhancement to the platform debugger views to allow the user to create multiple instances of views and to pin them to the active context (see bug 145625).
  2. At the meeting in Toronto in January '07 I demonstrated my prototype and we had a lively discussion about its benefits and short comings.
  3. We decided that the bug 145625 prototype was too radical as a workflow change to introduce in Platform without considerable discussion.  It also was not a complete solution to the multi-context workflow problem and there were some implementations issues with it.
  4. I promised to write up a proper proposal for the pin and clone workflow changes in 3.4 time frame which could be properly evaluated and potentially contributed to platform Debug.
  5. As I considered the multi-context workflow issue, I realized that there are a lot of issues to consider and I tried to write a proposal that would try to address these issues (in two parts).  I wrote the first part of the proposal and posted it to wiki. 
  6. I received a lot of excellent feadback on the first document, and it quickly became clear that I tried to cut too many corners in writing the proposal because I omitted use cases, mixed functional description with design and didn't have enough content. 
  7. I never got to writing the second part of the proposal as my commitments for DSF and Wind River commercial work took priority.  I put the effort on hold until after ganymede release effort is under control.
This brings us to this point in time, where the multi-context effort is stalled, but I get the sense that there is a lot of demand to re-start this discussion.  I personally don't have a lot of time to allocate to this effort at the moment, and I think I need to have a clear idea of what changes features are needed before I ask my management for time to work on it.  Therefore, I would like to re-start the multi-context group in the way that I should have started it in the first place.  As a community that has a vested interest in this problem we need to
  1. Define the use cases, and identify the use cases which are most important.
  2. Identify the problems with executing the use cases.
  3. Come up with ideas to fix the problems and improve the multi-context debugging user experiecene.

In the past discussions about multi-context debugging, we used a combination of wiki and the mailing list.  This was somewhat confusing and required some cut-and-paste action just to make sure that the edits were seen.  To avoid this, I would like to use the Wiki page as the center of this discussion.  To facilitate this I ask that anyone that wishes to participate in this discussion add this page to their wiki watch list and configure your wiki preferences to email yourself when the watchlist is updated.  This should hopefully minimize the need to use the mailing list just to tell everyone that the wiki page was updated.  The last section on the page is a "Comments" section, however I hope that we can produce this document as a community and I hope that everyone that wishes to participate in it will just edit the document directly.

I started on this process tonight by adding some general  use cases for multi-threaded debugging.  As I have time I will contribute more content, but I hope to see others contribute to it as well.  I also welcome any feedback and suggestions as far as this process itself.


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