Having a nightmare with Debugging? Try RevDebug

In a start-up environment, developing is awesome, testing is great, but debugging is a nightmare. This is because start-up has limited resources and time to do debugging. This time, I have an opportunity to test out an extension for Visual Studio namely RevDebug. RevDebug promises six decent features for you to avoid Debugging and lets the DevDebug do it for you. The features are:

  1. Value prompts. It is a feature to see values right in your code during debugging without using Watch windows
  2. Monitoring. It helps to understand when the exception is thrown and reproduce your use bugs
  3. Performance profiling. This is my favorite! It will help you to find the slowest part of your code as a clue to do refactoring
  4. Time machine. It is jest live step in and steps into, but you can reverse by using recording feature on RevDebug
  5. Session Recording. On user acceptance, for example, you can record local or remotely your user/tester when trying your codes
  6. Save and Share. This is great for communication between developer and tester. Rather than dogfighting between user vs. developer, they can give the proof through recording

Sound promising right? Let's test it out.

Installing RevDebug

RevDebug can be installed right on your Visual Studio. Just visit tools, extension, and update

Choose the online section, and search RevDebug

You can see the complete version of RevDebug and core feature of RevDebug namely RevDebug Prompter. I click RevDebug; the download size is 80 Mb. When waiting for the download, I have two real questions:

  1. Will it hog my computer resources?
  2. Is this extension providing a unique and useful feature for the investment?

We will answer the question on this article and others.

The VSIX installer will open and prompt you to close visual studio because they want to modify it. The installation is faster on my machine it takes less than a minute. You can close the dialog and start the Visual Studio again.

Configuring the RevDebug

Before configuring RevDebug, I captured the memory consumed by the Visual Studio is on 421, RevDebug eats my memory for 3.3-3.5 Mb in a fresh start.

I registered my account, (hopefully) they secure my email and my password. I got 14 days of trials.

Test Drive

For the testing purpose, I use a console application with basic if else. On the toolbar, you will find RevDebug Button and Show Prompt. Show Prompt will give you an additional clue about your codes. I add to our solution and activate crash recorder also in the options menu. Until this step, Visual Studio use my memory for 646.5, and still, the RevDebug uses 4 MB

And it is interesting, I found how easily to review my codes with RevDebug, I just click play, and it shows any outputs on my codes

I do a crash manipulation such as string exception, and the RevDebug shows like this; Visual Studio shows another instance of Visual Studio in the background before the termination

I retry the effort, and it doesn't happen for the second effort. It shows me nice information about my bug

Not only my bug, but they also show me a change signature. It gives developer insight what code that needs to change.

I click the performance data; they show me a pie chart about the execution speed of each method.

Overall, I impressed with the RevDebug. Although some hiccups happened on my first try, I feel confidence with this extension.

Quick Conclusion.

  1. Will it hog my computer resources?
    1. NOPE, they consumed about 3-4 MB per visual studio instance that cost 646.5 MB
    2. MIGHT be, after I disable the extension I found that my Visual Studio with the same project consume 516.5
  2. Is this extension providing a unique and useful feature for the investment?
    1. Yes, the extension consumes the resources, but it is useful for project scenario that needs you to put attention with the detail of variables
    2. Yes, the visualization helps you to know better your code, the recording helps you to review each execution of the codes, the crash report gives you detail about the quality of the app
    3. No, the price is billed at 6$/month or 72$ / year. If you sell an application with less 10$ / month forget it. But if you have enterprise application who will cover the bill go ahead, it is worthed.

So that's it, I will try the extension further in the next article.










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