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Tool debugs C/C++, Java concurrently

Nov 24, 2003 — by LinuxDevices Staff — from the LinuxDevices Archive

A new debugging tool for users of the Java Native Interface (JNI) on x86 Linux or Sun Solaris enables concurrent debugging of mixed Java and C/C++ code. The tool comes with its own C/C++ debugger and integrates with the Java debuggers in several popular Java development tools.

Etnus says its CodeRoad JNI Bridge 2.0 can save developers from setting up and switching between discrete debugging environments when working with JNI. Programmers can set breakpoints in native C/C++ or Java code, and step back and forth between C/C++ and Java.

In the past, debugging mixed language applications that use JNI has been frustrating, according to Etnus, because C/C++ and Java had to be debugged separately.

The Bridge relies on the Etnus TotalView C/C++ debugger, which supports many Linux and UNIX platforms. The Bridge supports Borland JBuilder versions 6, 7, 8, and 9; Sun One Studio for Java version 4, and NetBeans versions 3.3, 3.4, and 3.5.

The JNI enables Java programmers to write native methods that access OS-specific functions outside the context of the Java virtual machine. Such methods perform better because they do not have to be interpreted. Developers also deploy JNI to leverage desirable Java features while accessing large or specialized C/C++ code, according to Etnus.

There are two models of development when mixing C/C++ and Java code, both of which are supported by the JNI Bridge. In the first model a Java application utilizes C routines available in a shared library through the JNI. In the second, developers embed a Java Virtual Machine into an existing C/C++ application, which then makes calls into the Java code. In both cases, the JNI Bridge provides seamless debugging from one language to the other, according to Etnus, without burdening the user with the setup of multiple tools.

The CodeRoad Bridge is available for free trial download from the Etnus website.

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