Debug Symbols

6 posts, 0 answers
  1. Brian Chavez
    Brian Chavez avatar
    23 posts
    Member since:
    Sep 2012

    Posted 17 Oct 2008 Link to this post

    Hi, I'm running into a problem with Telerik Reporting that may be a possible bug.  However, I don't want to go through all the trouble recompiling from source.  Is it possible to find Debug Symbols from telerik?  If not, it would be a smart idea to include debug/release symbols included in the downloads.  Thanks, Brian.
  2. Steve
    Admin
    Steve avatar
    10941 posts

    Posted 20 Oct 2008 Link to this post

    Hi Brian,

    We do not offer the pdb files in any of the products we ship as they're not necessary. Please elaborate on the problem you've encounter and if it is a bug, it is our responsibility to research and address it.

    Greetings,
    Steve
    the Telerik team

    Check out Telerik Trainer, the state of the art learning tool for Telerik products.
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  4. Brian Chavez
    Brian Chavez avatar
    23 posts
    Member since:
    Sep 2012

    Posted 20 Oct 2008 Link to this post

    Hi Steve,

    Ture, PDB files are not exactly necessary to run your product, but they are very helpful when tracking exceptions and walking/examining the call stack.

    I want the release PDB files so that I can load them into a symbols directory, have the symbols load in the debugger, and then attempt to walk the call stack when an exception is thrown and look at the intermediate variables on the stack.

    Benefits are:

    1) Helps me understand the quirks in your product and your product in general.

    2) Reduces the need for your Support (which costs you time and money better spent fixing bugs and helping others with more serious problems.)

    3) Help me identify and trace bugs more accurately, than some "problem description I've encountered."

    4) Allow me to set breakpoints inside the release source to more fundamentally understand what's going on.

    5) Ultimately gives me better insight in fixing the problem with a temporary work-around than waiting 24 hours for support or future product release cycle.

    --------

    Clearly, there are only benefits.  And if you haven't taken note yet, Microsoft has released their source code to the .NET framework WITH debug symbols available here:

    http://referencesource.microsoft.com/downloadsetup.aspx

    If you still think it's not necessary, and don't follow suit, you're doing your developers a disservice.

    Please provide Debug versions / PDB files of your assemblies, they would help greatly in debugging issues with your products.  I don’t know how many times I've cursed at RadGrid and Telerik Reports because of some wild exception (either because of my mis use or actual bug) that caused my application crash out of nowhere.

    -Brian

  5. Svetoslav
    Admin
    Svetoslav avatar
    649 posts

    Posted 23 Oct 2008 Link to this post

    Hi Brian,

    We do understand the purpose and the importance of the PDB files. You have a point - shipping the PDB files will bring benefits only.

    However instead of shipping the PDB files we are used to providing the complete source code of all Telerik products which we consider much more helpful in learning and debugging them.

    In case you have troubles with any of the Telerik products we will highly appreciate if you communicate them to us, so we can take care of it.

    Regards,
    Svetoslav
    the Telerik team

    Check out Telerik Trainer, the state of the art learning tool for Telerik products.
  6. Brian Chavez
    Brian Chavez avatar
    23 posts
    Member since:
    Sep 2012

    Posted 23 Oct 2008 Link to this post

    Hi Svetoslav,

     

    Shipping the complete source code of all the Telerik controls, in practice, is simply not enough.

     

    There are problems with “just shipping the source code”.

     

    Let me outline the problems with this point of view:

     

    First, your release DLLs that ship from your shop cannot be debugged with the visual studio >__DEBUGGER__<.  PERIOD.  THIS IS THE MAIN PROBLEM.  The debugger needs the PDB files to load Telerik symbols, in order to debug calls into your library.

     

    Second, have you actually tried to compile your controls from a customer’s point of view?  I’ve actually tried to compile the Telerik source code for the AJAX controls and it is a PAIN.  Many times the build documentation is out of date.

     

    Third, the Telerik source codes are not “build ready”.  Meaning, you purposefully have to modify the source code in order to get the Telerik source code to compile, which cause problems, pains, headaches, wasted time, wasted money in of itself.  Why is the Telerik source code not “build ready”? 1) You do not distribute your SNK.  This requires opening up all assembly projects and replace (or removing) the signed assembly attributes from the source code.  This is time consuming.  2) I have had some types that cannot be completely resolved.  I’ve located the types, but referencing them resulted in circular assembly dependencies.  It’s probably the result of some exotic build plan or my lack of expertise in building Telerik from the source (and rightly so).

     

    Forth, after spending hours trying to get the Telerik source code to compile (in pursuit of the coveted PDBs), my applications are now running a modified version of the release DLLs.  But doesn’t this effectively defeat the purpose? LOL.  I can only hope I didn't break anything else in the process.  Well, at least I’ll have Debugger support right?  So are you telling me that compiling my own version of the Telerik controls gives me more value (and better developer experience) than your release versions????  I think that’s backwards.

     

    So, simply claiming that “instead of shipping the PDB files we are used to providing complete source code of all telerik products which we consider helpful in learning and debugging them”  As a paying customer, I don’t see how it helps debugging without the release PDBs.

     

    --------------

     

    Quite frankly, on the Telerik side, you simply have to set a compiler flag to get the PDBs.  Really, how hard is it for you to generate the PDB files part of your build process?

     

    Now imagine in a world where Telerik shipped their PDBs.

     

    As a developer, I can:

    1.      Take your PDB files and load them into my symbols directory with Visual Studio.

    2.      Take your Telerik Source code, and load it into a reference folder.

     

    Without having to compile anything, when an exception occurs, with Telerik PDB symbols loaded, I can now see the exception, in its full detail, with the current call stack frame and local variables, autos, breakpoints, etc.

     

    Please provide PDB symbols with your releases!!!!!!!!

     

    -Brian

    PS. Also note, that when Microsoft relased the source code to the .NET framework, they didn't just release "Source Code".  Microsoft fundamentally understood the need for release PDBs.

  7. Steve
    Admin
    Steve avatar
    10941 posts

    Posted 28 Oct 2008 Link to this post

    Hello Brian,

    Thank you for all the additional information enclosed . We understand your point completely and would have this in mind for subsequent versions of Telerik Reporting.

    Kind Regards,
    Steve
    the Telerik team

    Check out Telerik Trainer, the state of the art learning tool for Telerik products.
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