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EXtreme Debugging! (with apologies to Kent Beck, et al) (with apologies to Kent Beck, et al) David T Watts CTO Fig Leaf Software 30 Jul 2000.

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Presentation on theme: "EXtreme Debugging! (with apologies to Kent Beck, et al) (with apologies to Kent Beck, et al) David T Watts CTO Fig Leaf Software 30 Jul 2000."— Presentation transcript:

1 eXtreme Debugging! (with apologies to Kent Beck, et al) (with apologies to Kent Beck, et al) David T Watts CTO Fig Leaf Software 30 Jul 2000

2 What is eXtreme Debugging?  For the purposes of this demonstration, it’s debugging problems external to CF.  Many common problems can’t be identified from within CF.  This presentation will examine how to solve common problems using third-party freeware and shareware tools.  This presentation focuses on NT, but there are analogues for Solaris, etc.

3 What we’ll look at  OS permissions problems  HTTP & FTP protocol problems  Problems with external DLLs  Testing COM objects  Help Resources

4 OS permissions problems  Most commonly encountered when using IIS to control access via file ACLs  Example: virtual server authentication  Problem: Multiple web server authentication prompts; after several tries, access is allowed, but application doesn’t work correctly.

5 Permissions problems, cont’d  Cursory glance at directory ACLs looks correct: authtest1 allows anonymous user, authtest2 allows DAVE\Users

6 Permissions problems, cont’d


8  For a quick determination of file ACL problems, you can use the freeware NT File Monitor, from Registry permissions problems can be diagnosed with the NT Registry Monitor, also freeware.

9 Permissions problems, cont’d

10 HTTP & FTP protocol problems  Some problems between client and server require viewing raw headers and data.  Problems may occur between end-user and server, or between one server acting as a client and another server.

11 HTTPAnalyzer  HTTPAnalyzer is a freeware Windows tool from which shows HTTP request and response headers. Easy to use and effective for simply looking at headers.

12 HTTPAnalyzer

13 Telnet  Telnet is available on practically every TCP/IP-networked computer.  Telnet can be used to build custom HTTP requests and view and log responses.  Some telnet clients can be scripted.

14 Telnet

15 Netcat  Common Windows telnet clients don’t work very well, and can’t be scripted.  Netcat, available for NT from can be used to perform the same tasks as telnet, and more.  Netcat can redirect to and from files, and can be used to act as an HTTP client or server.

16 Netcat, cont’d  Netcat usage: nc [switches] [IP addr/host] [port]  Switches: -d detach from console -eexecute (followed by command) -llisten -Llisten and restart after termination -plistening port -t perform telnet negotiation -v verbose

17 Netcat, cont’d  Using Netcat as a client: This example pipes a text file of HTTP request headers to Netcat.

18 Netcat, cont’d


20  Netcat can also be used as a server; this is useful for determining problems with file uploads and proprietary plugins. In this example, Netcat will return an HTTP response to any request on port 81.

21 Netcat, cont’d


23 Recording proxies  Recording proxies allow the easy capture of multiple requests/responses between client and server.  Typically, a recording proxy requires that you modify the request to pass through the proxy.

24 Recording proxies, cont’d  Freeware HTTP and FTP recording proxies are available from These proxies are Perl scripts, and require that Perl be installed on the machine that will act as the proxy (typically the requesting client).  These scripts record request headers, but not request bodies.

25 Recording proxies, cont’d


27  Load-test tools can also generally be used as recording proxies; this is often how the load test script is created. These will record headers and bodies.

28 Working with external DLLs  A DLL, such as a CFX component, working on one machine may not work on another for no apparent reason.  Typically, this is caused by a dependency on a library found on the working machine, but not on the other.

29 External DLLs, cont’d  You can use Dependency Checker (depends.exe) to determine what files are needed.  Dependency Checker is available in the Windows NT Resource Kit, Windows 2000 Support Tools (on the Win2K CD), and in Visual Studio.

30 Dependency Checker

31 Testing COM objects  Many, but not all, COM objects can be used from CF.  COM objects often come with ASP sample code, but this ASP code may hide some of the complexity behind the object’s usage (ex: authentication).  To separate object testing from web server issues, use Windows Script Host to automate the object, then convert the WSH test to CF iteratively.

32 Testing COM objects, cont’d

33 Help resources  Beyond the standard resources for CF, there are several that are useful to CF developers on NT.

34 Help resources, cont’d  Windows NT/Windows 2000 Resource Kits  IIS Resource Kit  Windows 2000 Magazine Archive, available on CD:  MSDN Library, available from Microsoft  Microsoft Online Support:

35 General advice (a.k.a. common sense)  Many problems require an approach outside of the normal CF development process.  Very few problems, however, are new to you! Most of them have existing solution processes.  Sometimes, the solution to a problem requires “recasting” the problem to a different problem domain – in other words, looking at the process (“What am I trying to accomplish?”) rather than the implementation issues (“how do I do x?”).

36 General advice, cont’d  A competent CF developer needs to know more than just CF and SQL.  Beyond development skills, CF developers need to have a basic understanding of the OS they’re using, TCP/IP networking, and the HTTP protocol, among other things.  Iterative solutions make problem-solving easier.  Problems that are purely “CF problems” can easily be tested by any competent CF developer.

37 That’s all, folks!  This presentation will be available Monday from the CFUG section of the Fig Leaf site, and should be available from the CFUN2K site as well.  If there are any questions, please contact Dave Watts:  Thanks, and have a nice day!

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