Debugging NPL scripts

NPL scripts are compiled at load time; compile time and runtime errors are output to the ./log.txt file. Typically debugging NPL scripts is an iterative process of editing source code, restarting ParaEngine and checking log.txt.

However, the following tools can be used to debug NPL scripts more effectively.

NPL plugins for Visual Studio

This provides syntax highlighting, and NPL code completion.

Visual Assist for Visual Studio

This is a must have tool to work with thousands of scripts in a game project. You can search and open files more easily.

Build Rules for Visual Studio

The following MSVC build rules are provided in ./script/bin folder.
  1. NPL Build Rule: It offers compile-time error checking in the visual studio IDE. Press Ctrl+F7 to compile code in memory.
  2. Lua Run File Rule: It allows one to quickly run pure lua code and see its output in visual studio IDE.

log(), commonlib.echo(), and log.txt file

Litter log(str), commonlib.echo(object) all over buggy code, restart ParaEngine and check ./log.txt. 90% of our programmers are using this primitive way to debug. It is effective once familiarized.

Use in-game debugger

ParaEngine has several open source debuggers written in NPL itself. They can only be used within ParaEngine. Press F12 to access the default debug pannel.

Use external IDE debugger

We recommend http://www.unknownworlds.com/decoda/ It allows the same experience of debugging in visual studio, like setting break points at runtime, step in to and out of code, watch window, etc.

In order to use decoda, one needs to ask for the symbol (PDB) file for your version of ParaEngine executable. For each public ParaEngine release executable, we kept its symbol file. The most recent executable and PDB files are on ftp://192.168.0.200/ParaWorld.pdb and ftp://192.168.0.200/paraworld.exe

Topic revision: r3 - 2009-07-06 - LiXizhi
 
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