5.6.10 Hooks Related to Breakpoints

There are two hooks related to breakpoints.

The hook breakpoint_expansion(Macro,Body) makes it possible for the user to extend the set of allowed conditions. This hook is called, at breakpoint addition time, with each simple test or action within the breakpoint spec, as the Macro argument. If the hook succeeds, the term returned in the Body argument is substituted for the original test or action. Note that Body cannot span both the test and the action part, i.e. it cannot contain the - /2 operator. The whole Body will be interpreted either as a test or as an action, depending on the context of the original condition.

We now give a few examples for breakpoint macros. The last example defines a condition making a predicate invisible, a reformulation of the last example of the previous subsection.

     :- multifile user:breakpoint_expansion/2.
                 skip, [inv(I),skip(I)]).
                     (   call -> get(mode(M)), gpriv(mymode(M)), skip
                     ;   exit -> gpriv(mymode(MM)), mode(MM)
                     ;   true
     | ?- spy(foo/2, -invisible).

We first define the skip macro, instructing the debugger to skip the current invocation. This macro is only meaningful in the action part.

The second clause defines the gpriv/2 macro, a generalization of the earlier mode_memory/1 predicate. For example, gpriv(mymode(M)) expands to goal_private(GP),true(memberchk(mymode(M),GP)). This embodies the convention of using open-ended lists for the goal private field.

Finally, the last clause implements the action macro invisible/0, which makes the predicate in question disappear from the trace. The last line shows how this macro can be used to make foo/2 invisible.

Below is an alternative implementation of the same macro. Here we use a Prolog predicate that returns the list of action variable settings to be applied at the given port. Notice that a variable can be used as a breakpoint condition, as long as this variable gets instantiated to a (simple or composite) breakpoint condition by the time it is reached in the process of breakpoint evaluation.

     invisible([proceed,silent,NewMode]) :-
             memberchk(mymode(MM), GP),
             (   P == call -> MM = M, NewMode = skip(Inv)
             ;   P = exit(_) -> NewMode = MM
             ;   NewMode = M

The second hook related to breakpoints is debugger_command_hook(DCommand, Actions). This hook serves for customizing the behavior of the interactive debugger, i.e. for introducing new interactive debugger commands. The hook is called for each debugger command read in by the debugger. DCommand contains the abstract format of the debugger command read in, as returned by the query facility (see Query Processing). If the hook succeeds, it should return in Actions an action part to be evaluated as the result of the command.

If you want to redefine an existing debugger command, you should study library('SU_messages') to learn the abstract format of this command, as returned by the query facility. If you want to add a new command, it suffices to know that unrecognized debugger commands are returned as unknown(Line,Warning). Here, Line is the code-list typed in, with any leading whitespace removed, and Warning is a warning message.

The following example defines the ‘S’ interactive debugger command to behave as skip at Call and Redo ports, and as creep otherwise:

     :- multifile user:debugger_command_hook/2.
     user:debugger_command_hook(unknown([0'S|_],_), Actions) :-
             Actions = [Mode,proceed,silent],
             (   P = call -> Mode = skip(I)
             ;   P = redo -> Mode = skip(I)
             ;   Mode = trace

Note that the silent action is needed above; otherwise, the trace message will be printed a second time, before continuing the execution.

library(debugger_examples) contains some of the above hooks, as well as several others.

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