source-level debugger

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source-level debugger

(programming, tool)
A debugger that shows the programmer the line or expression in the source code that resulted in a particular machine code instruction of a running program loaded in memory. This helps the programmer to analyse a program's behaviour in the high-level terms like source-level flow control constructs, procedure calls, named variables, etc instead of machine instructions and memory locations. Source-level debugging also makes it possible to step through execution a line at a time and set source-level breakpoints.

In order to support source-level debugging, the program must be compiled with this option enabled so that extra information is included in the executable code to identify the corresponding positions in the source code.

A symbolic debugger is one level lower - it displays symbols (procedure and variable names) stored in the executable but not individual source code lines.

GDB is a widely used example of a source-level debugger.
This article is provided by FOLDOC - Free Online Dictionary of Computing (
References in periodicals archive ?
Available for Windows, Linux, Solaris and Unix host platforms, the MULTI IDE features a window-oriented editor, source-level debugger, graphical program builder, run-time error checker, version control system, performance profiler, and real-time RTOS EventAnalyzer.
The heart of the MULTI IDE is a source-level debugger that supports process- and system-level debug.
Featuring an integrated programming editor, source-level debugger, graphical program builder, and run-time error checker, MULTI 2000 also includes a version control system, instruction set simulator, performance profiler, and real-time EventAnalyzer.

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