Trace Analysis Patterns (Part 20)

Metaphorical bijection from literary narratology to software narratology provides a pattern of Background and Foreground Components. This can be easily illustrated on pseudo-trace color diagrams. Suppose we troubleshoot a graphical issue using an ETW trace containing the output from all components of the problem system. Graphic components and their messages are foreground for a trace viewer (a person) against numerous background components (for example, database, file and registry access, shown in shades of green):

Trace viewers (for example, CDFAnalyzer) can filter out background component messages and present only foreground components (that I propose to call component foregrounding):

Of course, this process is iterative and parts of what once was foreground become background and candidates for further filtering:

- Dmitry Vostokov @ DumpAnalysis.org + TraceAnalysis.org -

2 Responses to “Trace Analysis Patterns (Part 20)”

  1. Crash Dump Analysis » Blog Archive » Trace Analysis Patterns (Part 28) Says:

    […] Debugging Experts Magazine Online Often we see errors in software traces recorded during deviant software behavior (often called non-working software traces) and when we double check their presence in normal expected software behavior traces (often called working traces) we find them there too. This pattern is called False Positive Error. I have already mentioned when I introduced the first software trace analysis pattern Periodic Error. Here is an example from the real trace. In a non-working trace we found this error in an adjoint thread of a foreground component: […]

  2. Crash Dump Analysis » Blog Archive » Trace Analysis Patterns (Part 31) Says:

    […] Please not that it is also possible to have a periodization based on modules, functions and individual messages but it might be complicated because different threads can enter the same module or function and here other patterns more appropriate like Activity Region, Characteristic Message Block, Background and Foreground Components. […]

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