Netbeans DTrace GUI plugin

A new version (0.4) of the Netbeans DTrace GUI plugin is ready for download from the Netbeans Update Center. This version includes Chime alongside the DTraceToolkit.



Here we see the vmbypid.d script on the right, and output at the bottom, obtained by clicking the green "Run" arrow, waiting a few seconds, then clicking the red stop button (now grayed out) in the bottom left margin. This is exactly the kind of script that's perfect for displaying in Chime. Now, switching to Chime is just a click away:



I blogged a while ago about integrating scripts from the toolkit with Chime (here and here), so I won't go into detail about that now. It's pretty simple to copy the script into the Chime wizard and try it out:



I added a new vmbypid display and put the helpful comments from the Toolkit script on display in the Description pane (above).



This is a little nicer to read than the Toolkit output, has totals, and refreshes every second automatically, rather than requiring you to decide blindly when to stop.

It might be nice if the graph could appear in the Netbeans "Output" window at the bottom (for consistency with the Toolkit output). Possibly that's one way the Chime integration with the Netbeans DTrace GUI could be taken to the next level, but it's nice to be able to see mutiple displays side-by-side the way things are now. Double-clicking vmbypid in the list of Chime "Traces" opens a popup displaying the DTrace program rather than launching the display, as the standalone Chime does, in order for Chime to be more consistent with its Toolkit neighbor. A more thorough integration will display the D program on the right side of the Netbeans window, as happens when double-clicking a script in the Toolkit. A green arrow for Chime's "Run" button (like that of the Toolkit) would also be nice. There are probably other ways the integration could be improved, like merging Chime's menu bar into the Netbeans menu bar, but this is an excellent beginning, and it's nice to see Chime and the DTraceToolkit side by side.

Nasser Nouri wrote up some nice instructions on how to get the plugin and run it. It was very easy, and I was impressed by how little time it took. I did run into a little gotcha: In the Toolkit, my view of the vmbypid.d script did not agree with the output (the column headers in the dtrace:::END printf() differed). Nasser explained to me that the script was left over from a previous installation, and that I needed to remove the old version of DTraceScripts in my home directory and reinstall the plugin. That fixed the problem for me.

The Netbeans DTrace GUI works with Sun Studio IDE Express releases and Netbeans IDE 6.0, 6.1, and 6.5. A DTrace Editor is also planned that will enable code completion, syntax checking, and code folding.
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