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GNU is Not Unix

HP Releases gdb-derived Debugger 36

Lumpish Scholar writes "Rather than only enhance their proprietary debugger(s), Hewlett-Packard has started distributing "wdb" ("Wildebeest"), an enhanced (and still free / Open Source, naturally) version of the GNU debugger that supports HP's C, C++, and Fortran compilers under HP-UX. They're not just giving it away; they're supporting it for their customers with compiler support. "
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HP Releases gdb-derived Debugger

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  • I had the misfortune of doing some development on an HP-UX workstation for a couple of months using HP's standard debugger (forget what it was called - adb? adx?). That thing sucked rocks. gdb rules and for those who develop under HP-UX, I am sure this is welcome news.
  • XEmacs and GDB are my two best friends. :)
  • by ninjaz ( 1202 )
    "Free software is buggy, unsupported, binary crap." Are you trolling or just igorant? Why don't you go check out and get some facts. ALMOST EVERYTHING that can be labled as Open Source(TM) is licensed under the GPL.

    I thought it was pretty apparent that the original poster was referring to public perception associated with one term or the other. The next sentence, that you missed quoting was: "Almost everybody agrees on that, and you can't change their mind."

    The programs being described here are as buggy, unsupported ,binary crap best demonstrated at (look for "freeware" in the license box) *not* or

    Whether to use one term or the other is kind of a question of integrity vs. marketing. It's like the Hacker vs. Cracker argument. Some say it's easier to just use a different term when a word is co-opted. Some say it's worth fighting for (in other words, winning the meaning of the word back for yourself) ... Frankly, the word "free" *has* been to hell and back (you can thank ad agencies everywhere for that) .. What we really need is a word that describes "Free" as in freedom such that makes a nice little term to describe the software, IMHO. For the time being, I'll use the term "Free Software" and take the moment to explain what I mean by the "Free" if I'm talking to someone used to harsher climates.
  • by Anonymous Coward

    They're not just giving it away; they're supporting it for their customers with compiler support. What does this mean?

    It means if you've paid for a license to use HP's compilers, they'll give you support for wdb too.

    In the proprietary UNIX world, the license for the OS typically does not include a license for the compilers (or at least for useful versions of the compilers.) Those are sold separately.

  • I used WDB 0.75 on HP-UX a year ago. It is their new strategic source level debugger.
  • ddd is pretty but I prefer debuggers that crash less frequently than my program (it's the reason I've sworn off Windows programming unless I'm getting paid. :-) )

  • The One True Debugger (or meta-debugger, if you prefer; or debugger GUI) is still DDD.

    If wdb runs underneath DDD (like gdb, pdb, pydb, jdb, and dbx do) then it rules. If not, it sucks. End of story. ;-)

    Seriously though, DDD is the greatest programming tool ever created. Well, it's tied with XEmacs. Anyone who bags on *nix/*BSD for having crappy IDEs hasn't used these two tools properly.

  • We've been using HP stuff for about 5 years now, and this is the 4th time since then that they changed their debugger strategy: softdebug version 1, softdebug version 2, good old dde brought in from Apollo and sort of ruined by HP, wdb, ...

    Taking into account that this wdb change is indeed at least a year old by now, I wonder whether they have already decided about their next strategic debugger...


  • I am getting tired of seeing the editor refer to free software as Open Source/free or free-OSS or some similar permution. Decorating the term "free software" with other gratutous modifiers is tedious and concusing. Which is is slashdot? Free Software or Open Source?
  • This came up on the HPUX-DEVTOOLS mailing list. HP will not support DDD, or the emacs interface wrapper around gdb/wdb. On the other hand, the HP developers use both interfaces, and will be the first to be disappointed if they break.

    The DDD folks have deprecated their support of xdb, HP's older debugger.

    has a registration-free download area.
  • WDB 0.75 is out for a year now; DDD 3.1 and
    later support WDB just like any GDB flavour.

    I have not used WDB and DDD so far. But there
    have been no WDB-related complaints so far
    on the DDD mailing lists, so WDB and DDD seem
    to work just fine.

    No comments on WDB 1.0 yet, but there
    is no reason this new release should
    not work too.

  • It's been available with HP's compilers since 11.0 came out, circa Nov. 97... no new news here.
  • it is offensive to call gnu projects open source
  • by Anonymous Coward
    They're not just giving it away; they're supporting it for their customers with compiler support.

    What does this mean?
  • In all fairness, its not the editors doing that. This article was just a word-for-word quote of the submission, and the submitter chose to waffle.

    I will, however, register my vote for "Free Software" when it is necesary to choose.

  • It means if you run HPUX and their C compiler, and have a problem with their version of the GNU debugger, they'll support it, instead of saying "It's not supported."
  • This is probably a major trend. The well established vendors offering Open source and propriatary at the same time. This is a real opportunity for GNU etc to win on technical merits
  • See the DDD FAQ [] for a discussion of DDD's stability. Basically, DDD in itself is very stable, but relies on a large number of (possibly unstable) components. LessTif's stability is at a tolerable level (and increasing); if your mileage varies, feel free to use a DDD binary linked with OSF/Motif.

There's no such thing as a free lunch. -- Milton Friendman