Trace Page
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Trace Call Stack
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pblpeepericons-tracetabpage.jpg Trace Page


PowerBuilder provides a tracing tool for determining where your application has executed (search for PBDEBUG in the PowerBuilder online manuals). It produces a text file with a line for every instruction executed. While this provides invaluable information, the file is cumbersome and awkward to read. The trace page converts this trace file into a tree view in the left panel, displaying and loading into memory only what you request (these trace files can become over 100M in size very quickly, while the portion you want to review may represent a very small portion of that). The right panel displays the script corresponding to the line of the trace file selected in the tree view. If the selected item in the treeview indicates a line number, a line in the script viewer in the right panel is highlighted.

This page is available without selecting any PBLs. Without selecting PBLs, the trace file is loaded into the treeview but no scripts are displayed.

Loading too many items into the treeview can be a problem and cause PBL Peeper to crash. This can happen, for example, when the problem you are identifying is caused by an infinite loop, and the trace file has millions of executed lines for one function. If a threshold (set in Preferences) is passed, a prompt will give you the option of continuing or not. If the load is continued, the prompt will be presented every time that number of additional lines is being loaded. To additionally minimize the quantity of information displayed, you can tell PBL Peeper to skip the lines in the DBG file that indicate which individual lines have been executed (see Preferences).

The binary profiling/trace files cannot be read into this page.

Available Menu Items

pblpeepericons-delete.jpg  Delete Rows

Discards lines from the trace file for further searching. Lines can be discarded either before or after the currently selected item. In both cases, evaluation is done relative to the root level parent of the currently selected item.

pblpeepericons-find.jpg  Find [Ctrl-F]

Searches for a specified substring in the trace file from the currently selected item in the trace treeview (left panel). Once found, the portion of the trace file required to display the match are loaded.

pblpeepericons-findnext.jpg  Find Next [F3]

Resumes the previous find from the current position using the previous settings.

pblpeepericons-go.jpg  Go [Ctrl-G] or


Loads a new trace file

pblpeepericons-show.jpg  Show


Alternate script

If available, offers a selection of overloaded scripts (scripts with the same name) to display in the script viewer (right panel) instead of the script PBL Peeper has selected.

Current call stack

Shows only the call stack of the currently selected item in the trace treeview (left panel). See also the Trace Call Stack Window.

Call stacks matching...

Prompts for a value to search for. Then, a window will display all lines containing a match for the entered string, plus the call stacks for those lines. Call stacks that overlap will be merged, giving a clearer picture of where the matching lines were executed relative to each other. See also the Trace Call Stack Window.


Non-standard trace lines

Shows lines that don’t usually show up in trace files. This will find any unexpected messages. Very rarely, error messages that don’t show up anywhere else are logged here.

pblpeepericons-print.jpg  Print [Ctrl-P]

Shows a list of print options.

Print entire tree

Prints the tree.

Print tree from selected item

Prints a subtree of the tree from the currently selected item.


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