Parallel Stacks – new Visual Studio 2010 debugger window

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Description

UPDATED for the VS2010 Beta 2 release

Author
: Hi, I am Daniel Moth Smiley

Introduction:

As developers try to take advantage of more and more cores in their applications, ultimately more and more threads will execute their code at the same time. When debugging such applications, there is a need to visualize multiple call stacks of multiple threads in a single view. This scenario is supported in Visual Studio 2010 via a new debugger window that this short video explores: Parallel Stacks.

To read more about the features of the Parallel Stacks window please read my blog posts here, here and here. To follow some steps and explore the Parallel Stacks (and Parallel Tasks) windows on your own Visual Studio 2010 installation, follow this MSDN walkthrough.

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The Discussion

  • User profile image
    Dreadnaught

    Does anyone else see somthing besides a black screen?

  • User profile image
    Charles

    I do. Watching the screencast now. Very nice, Daniel.

    Dreadnaught, are you running Chrome?

    C

  • User profile image
    rhm

    Works For Me(tm)

    Looks like an interesting feature for ppl debugging multi-threaded code.

  • User profile image
    DCMonkey

    I'm running Chorme and do see a black screen as well. Works in IE though.

  • User profile image
    Charles

    Can you watch any of the videos on the site with Chrome+Silverlight?

    C

  • User profile image
    DCMonkey

    Yeah. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't, even on the same video. And if it's blank there's usually a flash of the player controls before it goes black.

  • User profile image
    magicalclick

    Nice screen cast. Hope this works on Express also. Looks really useful for parralle debuding. BTW, I am using IE, so it works.

     

  • User profile image
    Daniel Moth

    rhm, thanks. yes this debugging window also supports native programming models such as PPL and even more so with the Tasks view of the Parallel Stacks window and also the Parallel Tasks window – I'll show those in my next screencast.

  • User profile image
    Daniel Moth

    magicalclick, glad you liked it… Unfortunately, this debugger window is not available in the Express SKU, but it is available in all other VS2010 SKUs. The marketing folks thought this feature was too valuable to give for free and it was hard for me to argue with them on that point… Note that the parallel APIs are of course included with the Express SKUs.

  • User profile image
    SteveRichter

    not a debugger question .... can I get a similar call stack view of any process/thread running on the system?  When my app hangs or the entire system locks up, I would like to see exactly what an app is currently running.

    thanks,

     

  • User profile image
    Kevin Weir

    Hi there

    Black screen for me as well.  Im running Vista 64 bit.  Silverlight definetly has some unresolved issues

  • User profile image
    Olivier Hamel

    "Not for free" is ok, but try to avoid "Only costs your soul, and that of your family".  Tongue Out Price tags can get rather high for indies in some cases, and the price curve is rather steep in VS2008's case (std: ~300, prof: ~800, ts dev: ~5000(!)). Sadly you can't seem to get ts dev without an MSDN license regardless, and those add quite a bit to the tag...

    Having the APIs available in all editions is a very nice feature though!

  • User profile image
    Daniel Moth

    SteveRichter, you can get a dump (which includes stacks) of any process via various methods/tools, e.g. Task Manager. A search for "hang dump" will point you to some resources. This new debugger window only works in the VS2010 IDE. Once you have a dump, you can open it in Visual Studio and use the debugger windows (assuming you have symbols for the process), inc Parallel Stacks.

    If you have further technical questions about this debugger window specifically, please post back.

  • User profile image
    pm100

    black screen for me - all c9 vidies went this way a few days ago. Firefox 3.0.11.

    Sometimes tries to dowload the wmv file.

  • User profile image
    staceyw

    Very nice Daniel.  That looks like a sweet feature.  Should help a lot.

  • User profile image
    Daniel Moth

    staceyw, glad it will be useful.

     

    Cheers

    Daniel

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