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Disassembly Discussion

User Requirements

Disassembly display

  • Disassembly view
    • Ability to switch between pure disassembly mode and mixed mode
    • Assembly view should always show assembler using 'Address Base' (see Additional Notes)
      • Perhaps selecting a source line in the view should highlight the corresponding assembler lines (which may be fragmented in the view)
    • Context menu with check state to indicate the current display mode
  • Editor (mixed mode view)
    • Switch between source mode and mixed mode
    • context menu with check state to indicate the current display mode
  • Disassembly Memory Render bug 27892
  • Showing source and disassembly side by side (do we still need this???)
  • Module view

Extensible data input stream bug 145635

  • Target memory block
  • External binary file

Ability to view beyond the current stackframe in the disassembly view bug 27239

  • It should be possible to scroll up and scroll down of the current view by line, page, and dragging the scroll bar thumb
  • There should be an address combo-box to allow the user to enter the start address, i.e main, 0x0badf00d
    • The combo-box should have a history of the previous start addresses

Refresh display content if the visible display data has changed Bug 138920
i.e Memory content on the target changed

In-place editing of the opCode
This should causes any disassembly display that is viewing the current disassemble region to update to reflect the change

Follow PC location and if PC is out of the current viewing address, than update the view to show the PC

  • There should be an option to disable this feature

The view should not be blank out when target is running

Ability to set software breakpoint, hardware breakpoint, and any breakpoint provided by the debugger

  • Double clicks in the left margin to set software breakpoint [Default action]
  • Context menu to set hardware breakpoint and additional breakpoint type provided by the debugger
  • Ability to set multiple breakpoint at the same address
  • Ability to set multiple breakpoint at the same source location
  • Ability to resize the left margin to show multiple breakpoint icons
  • Icon should have different representation based on the breakpoint type, condition, and action

An icon to indicate to the user opCode might not be valid Bug 86882
On some target, it is not possible to locate the valid start address if the user scroll around in the view
Program might have hold, it is not always continuous

The presentation of the disassembly display should be configurable Bug 80209

  • There should be an option to show interleaved assembly text and symbol for quick reference
  • The display column should be a user configurable option

Ability to change the PC location

  • Run to cursor
  • Set PC to cursor

Multipe PC indicators (target can have multiple addresses for a single execution packet)

  • In the editor, it should have a different PC indicator for source and disassembly text

Copying text to clipboard

  • It should be possible to highlight a section of disassembly text and copy it to the clipboard

Print support

  • Disassembly view
    • Print selected text
    • Print a user defined region
    • Print visible area
  • Editor
    • Print current viewing editor window

Automatic open the disassembly window if there is no source Bug 81353

  • When the target halted and the disassembly window is not open, the disassembly should open up and show the current PC location
  • If a diassembly window is already open, than it should be reuse and update the start address to the current PC location
  • There should be an option not to open the disassembly window

API Requrements

  • There should be an API to configure to blank out the view when target running, it is upto the debugger to support this feature
  • There should be an API to configure to disable disassemble Bug 122013
  • There should be an API to change the forground color and background color for each line of text

Design Notes

Showing disassembly in the editor is the preferred solution, and it should be implemented as a contribution to an editor view an extension point or something similar (Mikhail Khodjaiants).

Additional Notes

There are pros and cons for showing disassembly text in the editor (source base) and in a standalone view (address base).

  • Address base
    • Pros: Allows user to scroll through the entire program address space and also see the related source line without having to browse the source file.
    • Cons: Source line might not match the order of the source line in the editor. This is the case when the compiler optomized your code or your code is located in fragmented memory address.
  • Source base
    • Pros: User can quickly corrolate the source with the opCode generated by the compiler. Reading highlevel C/C++ code is much easier than assembly code, and user has the option to flip to mixed mode to see the generated assembly code. Reusing the editor's syntax highlight scheme.
    • Cons: It is not possible to scroll through the entire program address, you are lock in to the current opened file.

When source file is modified during debugging, we need to have visual indication to the user that the source doesn't match the mixed mode, and it is required to recompile and restart the session. Is this common sense to embedded devloper? Do we need to have a requirement?

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