Digging down into Perl hood with the debugger


Article from Issue 75/2007

The Perl interpreter, perl, doesn’t often crash, but if it happens, not even the excellent Perl debugger will be able to help you.

If you program in Perl rather than in C or C++, you will probably be grateful for a few things that Perl takes off your hands: memory allocation, counting references, watching out for rogue pointers, freeing up memory – these labors of Sisyphus are offloaded from the developer's desk by Perl’s virtual machine, helping developers to keep focused on the implementation. Down below in the engine room, things can start to go awry. Although you will rarely make the acquaintance of a bug in a Perl release that actually takes down the C-based virtual machine, addins programmed by unwary C/ C++ developers can trip you up.

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