11 Dec 2010 ensonic   » (Master)

GObject reference counting

Last month I made good progress on the undo/redo. I am now running the undo/redo in sync with the object lifecycle. The downside of this is that undo/redo fails when you have ref-count leaks. This now makes them more apparent. When trying to debug them I noticed that refdbg is not working anymore since quite a while. I was googling what other people use for such problems. Well, apparently everybody hates ref-count issues. Also most of the info you find is how to get traces for refcount activity. That is what refdbg does also. As this did not work for me anymore I've tried systemtap. Unfortunately right now its not useful for user-space work on most distros (except fedora) - bugs filed. Next step: gdb scripting. I managed to get a gdb script running. Now even for simple cases you quickly end up with a log of 150 backtraces. That is a lot to manually review. I went one step further and wrote a script to filter the traces. Over time I got the trace-log down to 20 entries. This is practical. Unfortunately the gdb script only work for tracing the lifecycle of one particular object. If I extend it to work for all refcounting activity I hit a gdb limitation to not allow nested commands :/. Back to refdbg :) I finally figured why it does not work and have started to fix it up. Lets see how far I get next month.

Buzztard

Naturally this used most of my hacking time. Still I managed to make some progress there as well. The buzztard irc channel was much more active this month. People reported small things here and there and most of it got fixed right away. The manual got some more love too to help people to get started and improve the description of several concepts. Finally all the refcount-debugging leads to a lot of code reviews. I found several areas with lots of needless refcount activity - fixes are in the repository.

81 files changed, 2682 insertions(+), 817 deletions(-)

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