Rob, Jason, and Abel talk about C++ issues and items such as Zap CC, Conan joining JFrog, and how developers use C++. Abel also goes into Backtrace a little bit. Here are a couple highlights from the chat:
- 12:39 – What do people, in general, program in C++? (Based on a discussion on Reddit)
- Abel: …[an] interesting use case was platform-independent mobile code… Someone had something about the network stack being written in C++ across Android and iOS phones. That wasn’t something I expected, because I’m not familiar with that world. And it was pretty cool to hear that C++ is being used in that case.
- 15:47 – On debugging and Backtrace.
- Abel: So it’s clear, in my experience and those of my colleagues, that debugging is not just a simple thing. It takes a lot of time and it’s a full process. So Backtrace was a project that we started to really improve every stage of that process. Everything from capturing data to providing an error database, where you can upload all of these post-mortem assets to be able to coalesce and aggregate them, investigate them at large, and then triage them and integrate them into systems that you use to go through your workflow… whether it be a ticket management system like JIRA, a messaging system like IRC or Slack, you can plug in this data automatically and improve the holistic process of debugging.
- 24:20 – Who should use Backtrace?
- Abel: We initially focused on natively compiled languages, so C++ and C. That said, the technology itself can support a wide array of software. For example… higher level languages like Python and Node.js. But we really focused on high-performance, low-latency workloads initially, because we found that that community was underserved by any new solution out there… we really wanted to see that come to C++ as well… But our intended users right now are kind of a wide gamut of people, whether they be hardware appliances, high-performance web servers, companies that [provide] CDN’s, to even video game developers and folks that leverage Breakpad.
- 32:16 – Backtrace Origins
- Abel: So like most software developers… the majority of our time is spent actually debugging code, as opposed to writing it. And there’s a lot of frustration just with the process of debugging… there was no system out there that really helped automate the overall process… [32:48] The particular event was where my cofounder was playing Counterstrike, and it crashed on us. [That’s when we realized that debugging] is a much bigger problem than our own little world.
Abel also talks about what happens in Backtrace when your product crashes, what data Backtrace can capture, and in what environments (QA, Testing, Development, Production.)