Despite the best documentation, stepping into the actual source code of third-party libraries can be the fastest way to diagnose a difficult bug or determine the state that a component needs to be in before a certain operation can be completed. With a little set-up magic, developers can step into libraries quickly and easily.
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Thread debugging can be one of the more difficult debugging exercises for a Visual C++ developer. The Visual Studio 2008 debugger contains a number of improvements that make thread debugging more productive, enabling code issues in multi-threaded applications to be identified and remedied faster.
Effective use of the Visual C++ debugger is one of the easiest ways to increase developer productivity. Program database (PDB) files are one of the key elements in effectively debugging an application, and it is easy to set up Visual Studio to use debug symbols for binary files produced by other developers, including those at Microsoft.
Code is run in a debugger for two main reasons: examining the branches of code that are being executed, and examining data values to determine why the code is behaving in a certain manner. Inspecting data values can be significantly improved by customizing the debug information. See how that can be done in the Visual C++ debugger.
For large and complex applications, dealing with the amount of data collected can be difficult. See how the Visual Studio Team System (VSTS) Developer Edition Profiler can do an excellent job of finding performance problems by simply pointing it at an application and allowing it to collect data.
Learn about a dissasembly view of function calls, and decipher the __thiscall calling convention.
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