Archive for the ‘Software Problem Solving’ Category

Pattern-Based Software Diagnostics

Sunday, October 21st, 2012

Pattern-driven software post-construction problem solving involves using preexisting pattern languages and pattern catalogs for software diagnostics, troubleshooting and debugging. Pattern-based software post-construction problem solving addresses PLS (Pattern Life Cycle) - from the discovery of a new pattern through its integration into an existing catalog and language, testing, packaging and delivering to pattern consumers with subsequent usage, refactoring and writing case studies:

- Dmitry Vostokov @ + -

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 @ + -

7 Habits of Highly Effective Diagnosticians (Part 0)

Tuesday, June 5th, 2012

Motivated by 7 Habits of Highly Effective Debuggers I would like to reflect on a distinction between diagnostics and problem solving as separate processes (although highly related). First, we reverse the precept from that article because stories such as software logs and traces are of primary importance to software diagnostics (and not only). And without diagnostics there is no effective debugging (treatment, problem solving, etc.)

The Principle Precept of Diagnostics

Stories NOT Statistics secure certainty.

Next parts will be about actual habits so please stay tuned. I would try to finish this list before the forthcoming Webinar on software diagnostics.

- Dmitry Vostokov @ + -

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 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 @ + -

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:

- Dmitry Vostokov @ + -

What is a Software Narrative?

Tuesday, March 20th, 2012

The previous definition of software narratology was restricted to software traces and logs (the top left quadrant on a software narrative square, also the part of Memoretics which studies memory snapshots). Now, with the broadening of the domain of software narratology to the whole world of software narrative stories including actor interactions with software in construction requirements use cases and post-construction incidents we give another definition:

Software narrative is a representation of software events and changes of state. Software Narratology is a discipline that studies such software narratives (software narrative science).

- Dmitry Vostokov @ + -

Software Problem Description Patterns (Part 1)

Sunday, March 11th, 2012

The development of SPDL requires extending pattern-driven analysis approach to software problems such as software defect and software incident descriptions. Such a pattern language should help with accurate problem identification and problem resolution through software behaviour analysis and with choosing, for example, appropriate workaround patterns or, for a debugging strategy, unified debugging patterns. This can also be applicable to software security incident descriptions as well.

For this first part, we introduce a pattern called, Problem Summary. This is a very short description that summarizes the essence of the problem from a submitter point of view such as a software user or a technical support engineer. Whether it is correct or incorrect is another problem itself but the missing summary usually requires close reading of the whole problem description text and analyze together various relevant parts to reconstruct the summary.

- Dmitry Vostokov @ + -

Software Narratology Square

Sunday, March 11th, 2012

After introducing software narrative planes it is logical to expand the field of software narratology to cover the whole domain of software construction and post-construction. We therefore combine both pairs of planes to create a narratological square:

Please also register for the forthcoming free Webinar: Introduction to Software Narratology where I plan to provide a coherent overview of the recent developments in this new field.

- Dmitry Vostokov @ + -

Software Narrative Planes

Sunday, March 11th, 2012

Based on an idea of expression and content planes from glossematics with a basic unit of glosseme we can organize software traces with corresponding patterns and software trace narremes (basic units of software narrative such as traces and event logs) into 2 planes: software trace narrative plane (expression) with narremes and the corresponding program lines of traces (PLOTs) source code and design plane (content) with their own set of construction narremes such as collaboration of software constructs. All this corresponds to the following diagram:

The same can be said about actor interaction level of software construction (what ought to be) and post-construction (what is) phases having their own construction and post-construction narratives, patterns and narremes such as in requirements (use cases) and in problem and software incident descriptions:

In the forthcoming articles I provide more examples and explanations including specific software narremes useful from the practical post-construction software problem solving perspective. Please also register for the forthcoming free Webinar: Introduction to Software Narratology where I plan to provide a coherent overview of this new field.

- Dmitry Vostokov @ + -

Webinar Introduction to Software Narratology: An Applied Science of Software Stories

Sunday, February 19th, 2012

Memory Dump Analysis Services ( organizes a free Webinar about software narratology: an application of ideas from narratology to software narrative stories.

Introduction to Software Narratology: An Applied Science of Software Stories Logo

Learn about this exciting new discipline and a field of research. 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.

Prerequisites: basic software troubleshooting and ability to read software generated logs.

Audience: anyone can benefit from this new perspective: from software users to software engineers and managers.

Space is limited.
Reserve your Webinar seat now at:

- Dmitry Vostokov @ + -

Narralog - A Software Trace Modeling Language

Thursday, February 2nd, 2012

Forthcoming Accelerated Software Trace Analysis training requires extensive real life like software logs with multiple software behaviour patterns. The similar accelerated memory dump analysis trainings (unmanaged / native Windows and .NET) also required good memory dumps but this problem was solved by modeling patterns of abnormal software behaviour in an appropriate implementation language such as C++ and C#. Modeling software traces with hundreds of software components, processes and threads would require enormous programming efforts. Therefore, the natural approach is to describe a desired software trace in some declarative language (or minimally imperative) and get a million line software log that models a specific combination of trace analysis patterns. So, welcome to such a language called Narralog: Software Narrative Log  or Narrative Logic. Please note that this language is different from Riemann programming language which is a language to describe software problems and generate software problem solving tools. Language details and whether a kind of a Metadefect Template Library will be used to implement Narralog or simple macroprogramming is suffice will be decided and announced when we further develop our training.

- Dmitry Vostokov @ + -

What is Software Trace and Memory Dump Analysis? A One Sentence Definition

Monday, December 12th, 2011

More than 4 years passed since I provided a longer structuralist definition. Recently I came to recognize a pattern-driven iterative and incremental nature of memory and software trace analysis and post-construction software problem solving in general and therefore a one sentence definition became necessary:

“Recognition and interpretation of patterns of software behavior”

- Dmitry Vostokov @ + -

My Vision of TaaS

Monday, December 5th, 2011

On the portal I published my vision of software tools as a service in the context of post-construction software problem solving. The main part is software problem description language (SPDL) which was previously introduced as Riemann programming language. I have decided to keep the name.

- Dmitry Vostokov @ + -

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 @ + -