|File Search||Catalog||Content Search|
mpatrol - A library for controlling and tracing dynamic memory allocations… more info»
README FOR THE MPATROL LIBRARY This file contains an overview of the mpatrol library. The documentation for the library currently exists as a manual in TeXinfo format located in the doc directory or as a set of UNIX manual pages located in the man directory. A quick reference card is also available. For instructions on how to build and install the mpatrol library and its tools please see the mpatrol manual. Introduction The mpatrol library is yet another link library that attempts to diagnose run-time errors that are caused by the wrong use of dynamically allocated memory. If you don't know what the malloc() function or operator new do then this library is probably not for you. You have to have a certain amount of programming expertise and a knowledge of how to run a command line compiler and linker before you should attempt to use this. Along with providing a comprehensive and configurable log of all dynamic memory operations that occurred during the lifetime of a program, the mpatrol library performs extensive checking to detect any misuse of dynamically allocated memory. All of this functionality can be integrated into existing code through the inclusion of a single header file at compile-time. On UNIX and Windows platforms (and AmigaOS when using gcc) this may not even be necessary as the mpatrol library can be linked with existing object files at link-time or, on some platforms, even dynamically linked with existing programs at run-time. All logging and tracing output from the mpatrol library is sent to a separate log file in order to keep its diagnostics separate from any that the program being tested might generate. A wide variety of library settings can also be changed at run-time via an environment variable, thus removing the need to recompile or relink in order to change the library's behaviour. Further information Due to their very nature, problems with dynamic memory allocations are notoriously difficult to reproduce and debug, and this is likely to be the case if you find a bug in the mpatrol library as it might be extremely hard to reproduce on another system. Details on how to report bugs are given in the manual, but it would be very useful if you could try to provide as much information as possible when reporting a problem, and that includes having a look in the library source code to see if it's obvious what is wrong. However, please try to read the frequently asked questions first in case your question or problem is covered there since they are usually updated every time I receive a question about mpatrol. The latest version of the mpatrol library can always be found at `http://www.cbmamiga.demon.co.uk/mpatrol/', and any correspondence relating to mpatrol (bug reports, enhancement requests, compliments ;-) should be sent to <firstname.lastname@example.org>. I normally only check my e-mail about once or twice a week, so don't expect an immediate response. I can also be reached at <email@example.com> but that is my work e-mail address. There is also a discussion group at `http://groups.yahoo.com/group/mpatrol/' where you can post mpatrol-related questions but you must first subscribe to the group before you can send mail to it. Oh, and always remember to do final release builds without the mpatrol library as the library is much slower than normal malloc implementations and uses much more memory. Happy debugging! Graeme Roy, 11th October, 1999. Edinburgh, Scotland.