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First heard about it from Google Tech Talks, back 2009 when it was called Silver Bullet: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LpfmKIxusZY

It's now called, Chronon... http://chrononsystems.com/

"Sounds" nice, have you tried Chronon the Java "Time Travelling Debugger" -- if so, is it worth trying and why?

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closed as primarily opinion-based by MichaelT, BЈовић, GlenH7, World Engineer Jul 29 '13 at 13:41

Many good questions generate some degree of opinion based on expert experience, but answers to this question will tend to be almost entirely based on opinions, rather than facts, references, or specific expertise.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

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No, but I've tried intellitrace in Visual Studio. Essentially the same and it's very, VERY nice. –  Ryan Hayes Oct 12 '10 at 3:09
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Guess they decided it wasn't a Silver Bullet after all. –  Robert Harvey Oct 12 '10 at 17:11
    
@Robert_Harvey: Interesting... thanks for the link! –  blunders Oct 12 '10 at 17:13
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This question is not constructive. The two answers you will receive to "have you tried X?" are "yes" and "no". –  user8 Oct 12 '10 at 20:36
    
@Mark Trapp He also asked is it worth trying and why. Actual people who have tried it can then give an advantages/disadvantages explanation as to what they think about the tool. –  Laz Oct 17 '10 at 15:04

1 Answer 1

up vote 2 down vote accepted

This tool sounds very similar to Whyline for Java. Whyline is an academic project and you can use it for free. As long as your machine is powerful enough to handle the instrumentation, you will have a very nice experience. My guess is that, as a product, Chronon might have been made with scalability in mind, and so it might not require as hefty of a machine. But I haven't tried it to know for sure. (See also my other answer about Whyline.)

The ad for Chronon does not mention program slicing directly, but it is one of the features Whyline has. The (dynamic backward) slicing allows you to get to the part of the execution you need to see. For example, if you are stepping through and ask "wait, why is that value 5?", Whyline can take you immediately to the line of code from the program's history that gave that variable that value (from which you can then step backward again and again).

Other approaches to backward stepping debuggers work by making forks of the program and then running the program forward from those points in order to simulate the backward step. Both approaches require that it instruments system calls (in the later case, for example, so you don't mess with the file system). I think the recording of the program, with an analysis applied to the history is probably the way you want to go, so you know that the run you are looking at definitely had (or definitely did not have) the fault you are tracking down.

In short: No, I have not used the tool, but the concepts behind it are sound, and highly productive. I believe things like this, recording and playing back program execution history, should come with the IDE.

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Only somewhat disappointed that Chronon had nothing to do with the time traveling game Chronotron: kongregate.com/games/Scarybug/chronotron –  Macneil Nov 12 '10 at 4:33

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