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Communications of the ACM

Communications of the ACM

Writing an online debugging program for the experienced user

Presently available online debugging routines are often unsatisfactory for the experienced user because they require unnecessarily rigid and complicated typing formats, make it difficult for the user to correct typing errors, and consume excessive memory with intricate features. In a debugging program it is of prime importance that the program be simple, flexible, and highly efficient to use. Communication between the user and the debugging program can be improved by using certain techniques applicable to most online debugging programs. These techniques are presented and are illustrated by their use in OPAK (octal package), a debugging program coded for the PDP-5/8 and the SDS-930. The compromise between economy of utility program core storage and incorporation of elegant debugging features is discussed.

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