[Mono-list] The Mono Crisis

Todd Berman tberman@off.net
Wed, 08 Sep 2004 16:28:36 -0700

On Thu, 2004-09-09 at 10:56 +1200, Ralph Mason wrote:
> Dear Mono Team
> I believe that Mono has a very large problem.
> It lacks a workable debugger of any kind - Yes I know there is this 
> method and that method that you 'can' use but they all suck. They don't 
> build or they need this and that, but no one can actually nail down 
> exactly what this and that is.

Sure is a huge problem. Hey. I have an idea. Why don't you help out and
try and contribute code to make the debugger better?

As far as building the debugger itself, its simple. Right now you need
to be using mono from cvs, the debugger from cvs and a glibc + kernel
that support NPTL.

> We have been diligently trying to use mono for about 6 month or more and 
> have tried basically every permutation of debuggers, library versions, 
> NPTL no NPTL this kernel that kernel, this garbage collector, that one, 
> none at all,  gdb etc etc (This whole freezing up NTPL / GC problem and 
> the way that the problem is not recognized as a problem is the second 
> largest problem I have with mono)

I don't know that this issues has appeared outside of gentoo, there is a
bug tracking it, but because no gentoo toolchain developers are into
mono and no mono developers use gentoo, its a tough one to fix. Help
there is most likely very much appreciated as well.

> There are plenty of other bugs in mono that we run into,  that we (our 
> team here) could no doubt  fix but with no debugger it's such a long 
> expensive process that it's just not worth it.

Its not that bad. But it is an issue.

> Mono Needs a STABLE debugger that will build and run on ANY system.  The 
> debugger needs to be able to step into interop libraries (or have some 
> way to debug both at once);

Yup, my understanding is that the current model the debugger is using
will be able to do this.

> Once this happens I think mono will be at version 1.0.  Until that time 
> it isn't IMHO. (WriteLine isn't a debugger it may have been in 1969)
> Before there is any .NET2.0 support, before anything else you need to be 
> able to set a break point, single step through code and look at variable 
> contents.  Reliably on any machine with any code.

I think the only way to dictate other people's time is to pay them to do
what you want.

> This single thing will give the most major boost to mono of any possible 
> code that could be written. Mono is a great piece of work, but it's 
> being totally let down. 
> While I don't have the ability to write a debugger for Mono There are 
> plenty of other ways I could help - if only there was a debugger.
> Can anyone make this happen?  Miguel?

Miguel is trying to help, there are engineers working on it, but
developer time is precious, and people like you can help. Even if its
attempting to use it, file bug reports, etc.