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Visual sort and organisation of support generated debug files Disclosure Number: IPCOM000202460D
Publication Date: 2010-Dec-16
Document File: 2 page(s) / 74K

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Visual sort and organisation of support generated debug files

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Visual sort and organisation of support generated debug files

When supporting a software product there are often copious amounts of debug files and data that must be reviewed in order to analyse a defect or to gain further understanding of what could be going wrong. The debug files generated can all look similar from their file names or from the first few lines of data they contain. Debug files are not usually used in isolation, but instead should be read in parallel

with other debug files collected at the same time and which provide debug output on

a completely different area of the software. Linking these files together using the date/time of the file is not an efficient way to manage the data, especially if the debug was enabled dynamically at different times.

Engineers troubleshooting defects such as server crashes, maybe spend the majority of their time sorting data for example into:
i)correct outage occurrence - there is no point reviewing data that is not part of this outage or symptom;
ii)correct time frame - only analyse files that contain data up to and during the problem. There is no point looking at data from 2

weeks ago when system was fine

iii)correct machine / instance - only review data for the machine that crashed / hung / had the defect.

    Once data is sorted, investigations can begin but after a few minutes researching debug files, engineers may stumble over a distressing fact that a key debug file is missing from the data set. If this was know earlier it could save time and avoid the need to go back to the source and ask for additional data to be gathered.

    Most operating systems (Windows / Linux / Mac) identify files by changing their ICON picture which is keyed off the extension in the file name eg a W icon for MSWord.doc files or a picture of a bar graph for IBM Symphony spread sheets but this does not provide enough detail about the file itself other than the application that should be used to view at it or identify which Word file should be supplied along

with which Excel Spreadsheet as part of a project set


    The method disclosed herein allows machine operators and software engineers to quickly sort and collate debug da...