- publishing free software manuals
Perl Language Reference Manual
by Larry Wall and others
Paperback (6"x9"), 724 pages
ISBN 9781906966027
RRP £29.95 ($39.95)

Sales of this book support The Perl Foundation! Get a printed copy>>>

23.1.6 Debugger Customization

The debugger probably contains enough configuration hooks that you won't ever have to modify it yourself. You may change the behaviour of debugger from within the debugger using its o command, from the command line via the PERLDB_OPTS environment variable, and from customization files.

You can do some customization by setting up a .perldb file, which contains initialization code. For instance, you could make aliases like these (the last one is one people expect to be there):

$DB::alias{'len'}  = 's/^len(.*)/p length($1)/';
$DB::alias{'stop'} = 's/^stop (at|in)/b/';
$DB::alias{'ps'}   = 's/^ps\b/p scalar /';
$DB::alias{'quit'} = 's/^quit(\s*)/exit/';

You can change options from .perldb by using calls like this one;

parse_options("NonStop=1 LineInfo=db.out AutoTrace=1 frame=2");

The code is executed in the package DB. Note that .perldb is processed before processing PERLDB_OPTS. If .perldb defines the subroutine afterinit, that function is called after debugger initialization ends. .perldb may be contained in the current directory, or in the home directory. Because this file is sourced in by Perl and may contain arbitrary commands, for security reasons, it must be owned by the superuser or the current user, and writable by no one but its owner.

You can mock TTY input to debugger by adding arbitrary commands to @DB::typeahead. For example, your .perldb file might contain:

sub afterinit { push @DB::typeahead, "b 4", "b 6"; }

Which would attempt to set breakpoints on lines 4 and 6 immediately after debugger initialization. Note that @DB::typeahead is not a supported interface and is subject to change in future releases.

If you want to modify the debugger, copy perl5db.pl from the Perl library to another name and hack it to your heart's content. You'll then want to set your PERL5DB environment variable to say something like this:

BEGIN { require "myperl5db.pl" }

As a last resort, you could also use PERL5DB to customize the debugger by directly setting internal variables or calling debugger functions.

Note that any variables and functions that are not documented in this document (or in "Guts of Perl debugging" (perldebguts) in the Perl C API and Internals Manual) are considered for internal use only, and as such are subject to change without notice.

ISBN 9781906966027Perl Language Reference ManualSee the print edition