Developers building applications designed to run processes in parallel are subject to a special category of bugs. Corensic’s Jinx is a debugger for multicore applications, and the company claims that its specialized technology can not only find such bugs during testing, but it can also do so without flagging false positives. Named the Jinx Debugger, version 1.1 shipped on Nov. 12.
Prashant Sridharan, senior director of marketing for Corensic, said that the company’s Jinx Debugger is based on technology developed at the University of Washington. He said that Jinx is a “hypervisor under the OS, which then looks for thread timing that will create a bug. We make the bug happen on the developer desktop by plugging in to Visual Studio. You click a box, run in debug mode, and it forces those bugs to happen.”
Thus, developers can nail down multi-threading bugs while still working on the application on their desktop. Because the Jinx Debugger is a hypervisor, the languages being debugged are irrelevant, said Sridharan.
“We don’t actually care about the code,” he said. “The really unique thing is that we are a hypervisor. When you enable use, we slip in under the OS and we effectively virtualize the whole OS. We are application-platform and programming-language agnostic. We do build add-ins for various IDEs, and those are superficial things that look for the track we create.”
Those IDE plug-ins, Sridharan said, help developers track discovered bugs back into the code.
Version 1.1 of Jinx adds a command-line tool for running the debugger. Previously, only the Visual Studio plug-in was available. With the availability of the command-line tool, Jinx can now be integrated into nightly test routines and run automatically.
“1.0 features were all aimed at developers on a desktop,” said Sridharan. “1.1 has features that would allow it to plug into your stress-testing and load-testing environments, as well as tie into things like [HP’s] Quality Center. If you enable Jinx, we would find more bugs for you during that testing.”
A single user license of Jinx Debugger costs US$1,999, and can be used on an unlimited number of machines. Future versions should include an Eclipse plug-in and integrations with the GNU Debugger.