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Get To the Point

Posted by gsporar on July 10, 2006 at 2:47 PM PDT

I have always thought that profilers are just debuggers with a different name. Case in
point: in a debugger I can watch the logic of my program change things like
the value of a variable. Similarly, one of the things I can watch in a profiler is how my program
uses memory. For example, I can see the number of instances of a particular class
that have been created. In general, then, these are
similar tools: they let you watch what happens at runtime.

So it is not surprising to me to see features from debuggers show up in profilers. In
Milestone 1 of the 6.0 version of the NetBeans Profiler, there is a new feature
called Profiling Points. The idea is pretty simple: provide a user interface
similar to setting a breakpoint in a debugger. Only instead of stopping the
execution of your program, a profiling point causes the profiler to do something
on your behalf. There are several different "somethings" in Milestone 1: start/stop
a simple timer, define root methods, clear the profiler's
buffer of accumulated results, and save a snapshot of accumulated results.

It is important to note that this feature is not yet finished - we are making
it available in order to get feedback on it.
You can download Milestone 1 of the NetBeans Profiler from
this page.
To learn more about Profiling Points you can look at the
documentation page
or watch the Flash demo that I created.