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NAIUA: OpenROAD SIG

ROADMap – The OpenROAD Debugging Tool

Object Oriented Applications

One of the advantages of using OpenROAD above other development environments is that fully object-oriented applications can be constructed. Indeed, the executing OpenROAD application is itself object oriented, using objects created from System Classes to hold details of it’s components.

However, Object Oriented programs can be difficult and time-consuming to debug. Not only has the developer got to keep in mind the contents of the attributes contained within the various objects created, but also the way in which the objects relate to each other. ROADMap makes this task easier by providing the developer with an application that graphically represents the object structure within an executing application, allowing the contents of the objects within the application at runtime to be monitored.

Introducing ROADMap – The Object Debugging Tool

ROADMap is invoked by using a simple CallFrame or OpenFrame statement from any component in an application, passing in as a parameter a reference to the object that will be mapped. The ROADMap application can be invoked from either an application running within the development environment or from an image. This enables the contents of the running image to be easily seen without incorporating debug messages in the code.

Objects linked to the object passed in are shown in a tree structure, as demonstrated on the screen shot below:

The tree structure can be expanded to show other related objects to a particular object, allowing the developer to gain a total picture of the relationship of the objects within the executing application.

The contents of attributes within these objects can also be displayed or documented by creating an HTML file showing the contents of the objects. This document can be time-stamped and titled thus providing a way of documenting faults found in code.

Watches on attributes within objects can be created so that the user has a constantly updating view of the application that is being run. In addition, alerts can also be created so that ROADMap informs the user when a particular attribute within an object has reached one of a list of values provided.

Key features provided by ROADMap are:

Demonstration Version of ROADMap

A fully featured demonstration version of ROADMap is free for download from this site, or by mailing me at one of the contact addresses detailed at the bottom of this document. The demonstration version of the application can be used for a period of 30 days after being installed, after which the registered version must be used. The registered version of the application contains no time limit or nag screen. Support is also provided for registered versions of the application.

The requirements for running the demonstration version of ROADMap are:

To install the demonstration of ROADMap first extract the ROADMap.zip file into a directory. Then start Ingres and run the instal.bat batch file that will take you through the installation process. Further instructions are supplied in the ReadMe documents supplied in the zip file in text, rich text and Word 97 formats.

Feedback concerning new features that could be added to ROADMap, or any other comments, are very welcome. Please send any feedback by e-mail to jimjantill@cs.com or jim_antill@compuserve.com.

In order to obtain either the demonstration or registered versions of ROADMap please contact me at either jimjantill@cs.com or jim_antill@compuserve.com.


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