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Re: [PATCH 0/2] Python testcases to check DWARF output

On 08/02/2017 05:43 PM, Jeff Law wrote:
I hate to throw in a wrench at this point, but has anyone looked at
dwgrep from Petr Machata?  He's not doing much with it anymore, but it
might provide enough of a dwarf scanning framework to be useful for
testing purposes.

Sure, no problem: I first started talking publicly about this one week ago, so it’s definitely not too late to mention alternatives. ;-) I learned about dwgrep two years ago and forgot about it, so thank you for the idea. I started to have a look at it, and for now I don’t think it’s a good match in this context:

 1. it’s an ELF only tool;
 2. it must be built, requiring external dependencies: cmake and
 3. in order to use it, one must learn a dedicated post-fix language

For 1. I think this is a true problem, as it means for instance that we could not test DWARF on Windows and Darwin setups. Unless we add PE and Mach-O handling in dwgrep of course, but that does not sound easy and will bring other external dependencies.

For 3. I feel that, for someone who is comfortable with Python, it will be easier to deal with a Python library (the dwarfutils in my patch) than having to learn yet another DSL. I think that’s precisely why some people would like to have a Python test framework rather than a TCL one. Working with a “usual” imperative language looks easier than with postfix expressions. Smaller cognitive load.

Actually I see another problem: pattern will have to vary depending on the target platform (for instance 32/64bit or depending on the DWARF version). Of course we could duplicate whole patterns in testcases to take this into account, but that’s like code duplication: I think we should be able to include small “X if 32bit else Y” in patterns, and I don’t think we can do that with Zwerg (no way to pass something like environment variables).

Of course, I have written a “competitor” tool: I guess my judgment is biased. :-) So other opinions are welcome!
Pierre-Marie de Rodat

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