Archive for the ‘New Debugging School’ Category

Software Diagnostics Services

Friday, July 13th, 2012

For some time I was struggling with finding a good name for memory dump and software trace analysis activities. The name Memoretics I use for the science of memory dump analysis (that also incorporates software traces) seems not so good to describe the whole practical activity that should be transparent to everyone in IT. Fortunately, I timely understood that all these activities constitute the essence of software diagnostics that previously lacked any solid foundation. Thus, Software Diagnostics Institute was reborn from the previous Crash Dump Analysis Portal. This institute does pure and applied research and scientific activities and in recent years was funded mainly from OpenTask publisher and recently from Memory Dump Analysis Services. The latter company also recognized that the broadening of its commercial activities requires a new name. So, Software Diagnostics Services was reborn:

The First Comprehensive Software Diagnostics Service

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

Forthcoming Transcript of Introduction to Software Narratology Webinar

Sunday, April 15th, 2012

In a week this short full color book should appear in online bookstores:

  • Title: Software Narratology: An Introduction to the Applied Science of Software Stories
  • Authors: Dmitry Vostokov, Memory Dump Analysis Services
  • Description: This is a transcript of Memory Dump Analysis Services Webinar about Software Narratology: an exciting new discipline and a field of research founded by DumpAnalysis.org. When software executes it gives us its stories in the form of UI events, software traces and logs. Such stories can be analyzed for their structure and patterns for troubleshooting, debugging and problem resolution purposes. Topics also include software narremes and their types, anticipatory software construction and software diagnostics.
  • Publisher: OpenTask (April 2012)
  • Language: English
  • Product Dimensions: 28.0 x 21.6
  • Paperback: 26 pages
  • ISBN-13: 978-1908043078

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

Forthcoming Introduction to Pattern-Driven Software Diagnostics

Monday, April 9th, 2012

Memory Dump Analysis Services organizes a free Webinar on Unified Software Diagnostics (USD) and the new scalable cost-effective software support model called Pattern-Driven Software Support devised to address various shortcomings in existing tiered software support organizations. Examples cover Windows, Mac OS  and Linux.

 Introduction to Pattern-Driven Software Diagnostics Logo

Date: 22nd of June, 2012
Time: 17:00 (BST) 12:00 (EST) 09:00 (PST)
Duration: 60 minutes

Space is limited.
Reserve your Webinar seat now at:
https://www3.gotomeeting.com/register/172771078

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

Software Problem Description Language (Part 1)

Friday, November 11th, 2011

One of the new initiatives for 2012 is the development of SPDL (Software Problem Description Language). Its purpose is automatic generation of a software troubleshooting tool(s) based on the description of a problem. Here software problem means a post-construction problem as outlined in Introduction to Pattern-Driven Software Problem Solving. The tool construction will utilize an expanded set of DebugWare and Workaround patterns together with the refind version of RADII software development process. This will also provide necessary effectiveness, efficiency and enhanced problem solving capabilities to existing TaaS (Tools as a Service) implementations that are limited in the number of tools they offer.

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

Forthcoming Volume 6 of Memory Dump Analysis Anthology

Thursday, November 3rd, 2011

The new 6th volume contains revised, edited, cross-referenced, and thematically organized selected DumpAnalysis.org blog posts about memory dump and software trace analysis, software troubleshooting and debugging written in November 2010 - October 2011 for software engineers developing and maintaining products on Windows platforms, quality assurance engineers testing software on Windows platforms, technical support and escalation engineers dealing with complex software issues, and security researchers, malware analysts and reverse engineers. The sixth volume features:

  • 56 new crash dump analysis patterns including 14 new .NET memory dump analysis patterns
  • 4 new pattern interaction case studies
  • 11 new trace analysis patterns
  • New Debugware pattern
  • Introduction to UI problem analysis patterns
  • Introduction to intelligence analysis patterns
  • Introduction to unified debugging pattern language
  • Introduction to generative debugging, metadefect template library and DNA of software behaviour
  • The new school of debugging and trends
  • .NET memory dump analysis checklist
  • Software trace analysis checklist
  • Introduction to close and deconstructive readings of a software trace
  • Memory dump analysis compass
  • Computical and Stack Trace Art
  • The abductive reasoning of Philip Marlowe
  • Orbifold memory space and cloud computing
  • Memory worldview
  • Interpretation of cyberspace
  • Relationship of memory dumps to religion
  • Fully cross-referenced with Volume 1, Volume 2, Volume 3, Volume 4, and Volume 5

Product information:

  • Title: Memory Dump Analysis Anthology, Volume 6
  • Author: Dmitry Vostokov
  • Language: English
  • Product Dimensions: 22.86 x 15.24
  • Paperback: 300 pages
  • Publisher: Opentask (December 2011)
  • ISBN-13: 978-1-908043-19-1
  • Hardcover: 300 pages
  • Publisher: Opentask (January 2012)
  • ISBN-13: 978-1-908043-20-7

Back cover features 3d memory space visualization image created with ParaView.

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

Crossdisciplinary Memoretics as Interdisciplinary Science

Wednesday, September 21st, 2011

Memoretics as a science of memory snapshots borrows many ideas from the following disciplines (the list is not exhaustive):

  • Troubleshooting and Debugging
  • Intelligence Analysis
  • Critical Thinking
  • Forensics
  • Linguistics
  • Archaeology
  • Psychoanalysis
  • History
  • Mathematics: Sets and Categories
  • Literary Criticism and Narratology

It also contributes many ideas back. The following diagram depicts such an interaction:

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

The New School of Debugging: What’s New

Thursday, April 28th, 2011

The New School of Debugging places pattern-driven memory and software trace analysis as a solid foundation for any debugging methodology, processes, tools and techniques. Unified Debugging Patterns and Generative Debugging Framework are additional features of the new school. To highlight its essentials I’ve created this draft diagram:

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

Memory Dump Analysis Anthology, Volume 5 is available for download

Sunday, April 17th, 2011

I’m pleased to announce that MDAA, Volume 5 is available in PDF format:

www.dumpanalysis.org/Memory+Dump+Analysis+Anthology+Volume+5

It features:

- 25 new crash dump analysis patterns
- 11 new pattern interaction case studies (including software tracing)
- 16 new trace analysis patterns
- 7 structural memory patterns
- 4 modeling case studies for memory dump analysis patterns
- Discussion of 3 common analysis mistakes
- Malware analysis case study
- Computer independent architecture of crash analysis report service
- Expanded coverage of software narratology
- Metaphysical and theological implications of memory dump worldview
- More pictures of memory space and physicalist art
- Classification of memory visualization tools
- Memory visualization case studies
- Close reading of the stories of Sherlock Holmes: Dr. Watson’s observational patterns
- Fully cross-referenced with Volume 1, Volume 2, Volume 3, and Volume 4

Its table of contents is available here:

www.dumpanalysis.org/MDAA/MDA-Anthology-V5-TOC.pdf

Paperback and hardcover versions should be available in a week or two. I also started working on Volume 6 that should be available in November-December.

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

Generative Debugging (Part 0)

Friday, April 15th, 2011

Followed by my search for a periodic table of software defects I came up with a novel approach called Generative Debugging partially borrowed from principles and parameters generative linguistics framework. For debugging and post-construction software problem solving purposes we have Behavioral Principles and Structural Parameters. The parameters allow us to describe existing and even generate new software defects (I’m also considering Structural Principles and Behavioural Parameters but whether this is fruitful needs to be explored and seen. We may also consider the name “generative debugging” as a “naming” counterpart to software construction problem solving called generative programming. So the former could also be used to generate problem solutions faster in automatic fashion. Both, in the future, may be combined into a unified generative software problem solving.

As a first example, consider an application functional hang with a thread blocked by a pending I/O request packet (IRP). It is composed from general behavioral principle of blocked (or unresponsive) activity and structural parameters including Thread and IRP.

In the following parts many software incidents will be explored from this generative perspective.

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

The Way of Philip Marlowe: The Abductive Reasoning for Troubleshooting and Debugging

Sunday, January 2nd, 2011

Working for more than 7 years in technical support environment I found that many support incidents were resolved more easily by abductive reasoning than by induction and deduction practiced by Sherlock Holmes and observed by Dr. Watson. Abduction as a way to build an incident theory to advance in problem resolution was practiced by a USA colleague of Holmes: Philip Marlowe. Because technical support is less detached from customers (”the world”) when compared to software engineering departments I see the way of Marlowe as more natural. Of course, from time to time the way of Holmes is also appropriate. All depends on a support case. I found that abductive reasoning is also appropriate for memory dump and software trace analysis where “leaps of faith” are necessary because of insufficient information. Such leaps of abduction actually happen all the time when analysts give troubleshooting advice based on patterns.

I plan to write more about the 3rd way of reasoning after I finish reading two Raymond Chandler’s novels and a few other inference, causality and explanation books I mention later: The Big Sleep & Farewell, My Lovely (Modern Library).

I’m grateful for Clive Gamble for pointing this way out in his book Archaeology: The Basics

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

The New School of Debugging

Saturday, January 1st, 2011

With the new year starts the new initiative to integrate traditional multidisciplinary debugging approaches and methodologies with multiplatform pattern-driven software problem solving, unified debugging patterns, best practices in memory dump analysis and software tracing, computer security, economics, and the new emerging trends I’m going to write about during this year.

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