FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: Greg Law. +44 844 826 0344 email@example.com
Cambridge, UK - March 4th, 2010.
UndoDB 3.0 — a huge step backwards!
Linux reversible debugger hits version 3.0
Undo Software has released a new version of UndoDB: the leading reversible debugger for Linux. It brings several hugely powerful new features, including reverse watchpoints and the ability to debug applications which use shared memory. It's also faster than ever, running applications with a slow-down of just 1.7x while still keeping full visibility of the program's entire execution history.
- Reversible debugging (also known as replay or historical debugging) allows a developer to step or run his application backwards, and so answer the real question when debugging: 'How did thathappen?'
- Debugging may be the unglamorous side of software development, but it hugely dominates the process. NIST estimates that bugs represent 80% of the cost of software development, at a cost to the US economy of $60bn per year .
- Undo Software pioneered reversible debugging with the release of UndoDB 1.0 in 2006. Since then the fray has been joined by Microsoft, VMware, and the open-source gdb, but UndoDB continues to lead in performance, features and usability.
- UndoDB 3.0 can debug almost any Linux process, including those using multiple threads, asynchronous signal handlers, and shared memory.
- UndoDB 3.0 supports reverse watchpoints, allowing programmers easily to find the root-cause of elusive memory-corruption bugs.
- UndoDB allows the entire program state to be wound back to any point in the recorded execution history, yet records with a slow-down over native execution of just 1.7x - significantly faster than competing solutions, some of which have a recording slow-down of up to 40,000x
- No recompilation or any other modifications are required to the process being debugged.
Jacob Rideout works on the KDE project. He says of UndoDB:
"I found the idea of [the] product amazing and a boon to my productivity ... I already have been able to fix a deadlock that was driving me crazy for a week in only 10 minutes".
Co-founder and CEO Greg Law says:
"I'm really very proud of what we've achieved. With version 3.0 UndoDB has become the product we've always wanted it to be. 3.0 might not have the same 'wow factor' as 1.0 did (because the concept is no longer 'new'), but UndoDB is now a really polished product. I've noticed how 3 seems to be the magic number when it comes to software releases: it's amazing how often v3 is the point a software product gains mass acceptance. Original Windows, Windows NT, Xen, VMware ESX, etc. I guess version 1.0 is really a proof-of-concept, 2.0 is where you iron out the big wrinkles, and with 3.0 it's really ready for prime-time. That's certainly been the story for us."
Reversible debugging is so powerful because it gives the user control over time. To debug a program is to reason backwards from the point of failure to determine the cause of that failure. On the first page of their book, The Practice of Programming, Brian Kernighan and Rob Pike (two of the pioneers of modern computer programming) give the following advice to programmers when debugging:
Reason back from the state of the crashed program to determine what could have caused this. Debugging involves backwards reasoning, like solving murder mysteries. Something impossible occurred, and the only solid information is that it really did occur. So we must think backwards from the result to discover the reasons.
UndoDB is a tool as powerful for the developer as detailed video footage of the crime would be for the detective. The developer can wind his program back and forth, like a detective whizzing the video back and forth, and then stepping forwards and backwards frame-by-frame to discover what really happened. The result is that bugs which took weeks to fix can now take just minutes. Literally.
Although UndoDB is not open source, developers who don't get paid for their work can use UndoDB for free. For professional use, UndoDB costs between $95 and $595 per seat. There is also a free 30-day evaluation version. UndoDB 3.0 is available now, from http://undo-software.com/.
 NIST -- Software Errors Cost U.S. Economy $59.5 Billion Annually
Notes to Editors
Undo Ltd is a privately held software company based in Cambridge, UK. It was founded by Greg Law and Julian Smith in 2005, who were joined more recently by Richard Parkins. The company was formed out of the founders' frustration with existing debugging tools. UndoDB is Undo Software's first product.
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