; OF PRINCETON UNIVERSITY; BY THE DEPARTMENT OF; COMPUTER SCIENCE
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Debuggers are specific to the machines, operating systems, and languages that they support. Much of a debugger has to be re-implemented for each new machine, so debuggers that work with a variety of machines and operating systems can get unwieldy. Improvements to debuggers may be lost unless they are re-implemented as users move to new machines. If retargeting debuggers were easier, other improvements would be more valuable. This thesis describes the design and implementation of ldb, a prototype retargetable debugger. Dealing with symbol-table formats is one of the most machine-dependent aspects of debuggers. ldb eliminates this machine dependence by using one format on all machines. The format is a language---a dialect of PostScript, which is extensible and can represent procedures. ldb reduces retargeting effort associated with variations in run-time support by controlling its target process using a debug nub, which is a small piece of object code linked with the target program. Mu...