Category Archives: tools

Setting up and using Code Coverage

My background includes many years of Verification work on complex computer and graphics chips, so I was happy to learn that Xcode had some support for testing and code coverage.   Code coverage is very useful as a guide to developing tests to let you see what portions of your code have been exercised.

The following example code coverage results are displayed using the tool CoverStory.   They show what percentage of various classes have been exercised in the left pane, along with details about which lines in a particular file have not been covered in the right pane (highlighted in red).

Code Coverage Display 2

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Using code generated flags to debug with Instruments

I discovered a great debugging tool today from the article Flags: very useful when debugging with Instruments   The article talks about how to put up flags from your code that appear in the Instruments window.    This is a feature that is new to Instruments 4.0 and is described in the Apple docs at New Features in Instruments 4.0   Let’s jump to the end and show you an example of what you can put up in your Instruments display:


Note the yellow flags above the trace.   These were generated in my code within a loop.    If you click on a flag you can see the text that I generated for the flag “Loop index 38” along with the source file, line number of the code generating the flag and the method  being executed.

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Debugging memory leaks with Instruments and Heapshots

I was first introduced to Instruments in the CS193P course that I took over the past few months.   I found them to be invaluable for debugging memory leaks as I work on my Address Book iPhone app.

iOS Memory Instruments

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Clipboard Manager for coding – PTHPasteboard Pro

I was new to the Mac up until about 5 months ago.  One of the first tools I realized that I wanted was a good clipboard manager.  Why?  I make extensive use of notes (Evernote), code comments and README files to paste examples of code, links to references, etc.  I often found myself switching back and forth between windows with copy/paste, copy/paste, etc.   What I really wanted was to maximize my efficiency with copy, copy, copy … followed by paste, paste, paste …

I ran across a good article at Macworld that helped me identify some top contenders quickly:  Essential Mac utilities: clipboard managers | Macworld.

From the list of clipboard managers, I tried CopyPaste Pro and PTHPasteboard Pro.  I eventually stuck with the latter.  It fit better into my workflow, had some advanced paste features, and allowed me to exclude some tools from copying (such as 1Password) so that I wasn’t putting sensitive information like passwords onto my clipboard.

Screen Shot 2012-12-11 at 12.55.58 PM

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