Changes in Xense Profiler for DFC version 1.1

August 22, 2008 at 12:04 pm | Posted in D6, Performance, Xense Profiler | Leave a comment
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An updated set of release notes have now been released to the website. In amongst a number of smaller cosmetic changes are some work I have been doing on making the profiler less sensitive to the specific tracing properties used to generate the trace.

One of the great virtues of the DMCL trace was the simplicity of invocation. There are only 2 different properties trace_level and trace_name with the latter being optional and defaulting to api.log. These could be set specifically in the dmcl.ini file or specified using and api call (e.g. trace,c,10,mytrace.log would start a level 10 trace to mytrace.log).

However the DFC trace has a lot of different options many of which have very significant implications for the formatting and content of the trace file. Suffice to say this makes reliable parsing of the dfc trace a challenge. To manage this complexity we took the decision to mandate the setting of certain parameters when generating the trace. Whilst this makes the development task easier it is not very user-centric. There is a risk that users will generate traces ‘incorrectly’ and then find that the profiler either doesn’t produce any results or even worse produces erroneous results.

The latest version, Xense Profiler for DFC v1.1, removes the requirement to have the dfc.tracing.include_rpcs flag set correctly; the profiler will correctly process files whatever the setting of include_rpcs used to generate the trace. There still some restrictions on the trace properties that can be used to generate the trace file – the details are in the release notes.

Future versions will aim to further remove these restrictions, in addition we will probably include a catalogue of trace formats that we can test against and at least warn the user if an incorrect trace format is being used.

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