If you’re a developer looking to add a new debugging tool for your Carbon applications, you may want to check out Barry Software’s public alpha release of
for Mac OS X.
BugSpray is an automated debugging tool that monitors your executable code and catches problems as they happen. Barry Software said that BugSpray’s specialty is in locating hard to find memory errors involving out-of-bounds memory accesses, accessing stale memory blocks and so on.
“While the memory protection of Mac OS X is great for catching NULL pointers and those uninitialized pointers that allowed you to crash other programs (or the OS), it still allows corrupting your own data, usually by corrupting your heap — which can be the most difficult errors to pinpoint,” explained the developer. BugSpray has been created to help pinpoint those problems.
BugSpray works using a technique called “instrumentation,” according to Barry Software. It monitors every memory access of your program. Combined with an accurate map of all the memory blocks used by your program, BugSpray then validates memory accesses more precisely than the processor’s own memory management unit.
The Alpha release of BugSpray is available for free, but it’ll expire each month. The software has an anticipated retail price of US$149.95 once it’s ready. BugSpray requires Mac OS X 10.1 or later, and only works with Carbon Mach-O applications (Project Builder or Mach-O CodeWarrior projects).