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F. Development Tools

Here are some tools that you might find useful while developing code.

F.1 Tags

Tags are an index to the functions and global variables declared in a program. Many editors, including Emacs and vi, can use them. The Makefile in pintos/src produces Emacs-style tags with the command make TAGS or vi-style tags with make tags.

In Emacs, use M-. to follow a tag in the current window, C-x 4 . in a new window, or C-x 5 . in a new frame. If your cursor is on a symbol name for any of those commands, it becomes the default target. If a tag name has multiple definitions, M-0 M-. jumps to the next one. To jump back to where you were before you followed the last tag, use M-*.

F.2 cscope

The cscope program also provides an index to functions and variables declared in a program. It has some features that tag facilities lack. Most notably, it can find all the points in a program at which a given function is called.

The Makefile in pintos/src produces cscope indexes when it is invoked as make cscope. Once the index has been generated, run cscope from a shell command line; no command-line arguments are normally necessary. Then use the arrow keys to choose one of the search criteria listed near the bottom of the terminal, type in an identifier, and hit Enter. cscope will then display the matches in the upper part of the terminal. You may use the arrow keys to choose a particular match; if you then hit Enter, cscope will invoke the default system editor(9) and position the cursor on that match. To start a new search, type Tab. To exit cscope, type Ctrl-d.

Emacs and some versions of vi have their own interfaces to cscope. For information on how to use these interface, visit http://cscope.sourceforge.net, the cscope home page.

F.3 Git

Git is a version-control system. That is, you can use it to keep track of multiple versions of files. The idea is that you do some work on your code and test it, then check it into the version-control system. If you decide that the work you've done since your last check-in is no good, you can easily revert to the last checked-in version. Furthermore, you can retrieve any old version of your code as of some given day and time. The version control logs tell you who made changes and when.

For more information, visit the Git home page.


VNC stands for Virtual Network Computing. It is, in essence, a remote display system which allows you to view a computing "desktop" environment not only on the machine where it is running, but from anywhere on the Internet and from a wide variety of machine architectures. It is already installed on the lab machines. For more information, look at the VNC Home Page.

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This document was generated by Greg Benson on August, 30 2012 using texi2html