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Alex is a Software Engineer working on Android development tools, especially Android Studio, at Google. His interests include Java, API design, OOP, IDEs and testing. Alex spends some of his spare time working on Open Source, blogging, writing technical articles, and speaking at international conferences. The opinions expressed here represent his own and not those of his employer. Alex is a DZone MVB and is not an employee of DZone and has posted 49 posts at DZone. You can read more from them at their website. View Full User Profile

Weekend Project: Thread Dump Viewer for Eclipse

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A couple of weeks ago, one of our users reported that Eclipse consistently froze when executing some action. I was hoping that Eclipse would have an editor where I can open the thread dump I got and navigate, through hyperlinks, from stack traces to source code. The closest thing I found was the “Java Stack Trace Console,” which provides hyperlinking to source code. It would have been nice if there is a specialized editor that provides the following features, besides code navigation:

  • an Outline View that shows the threads by name (with icons representing their state) and any deadlocks found
  • some basic syntax highlighting to make reading easier
  • ability to collapse blocks (e.g. a thread or stack trace) to minimize noise
  • navigation to thread definitions from references (e.g. a deadlock)

BTW, IntelliJ IDEA provides something somehow close to what I’m asking for since 2008! 2008!

In addition, I didn’t want a tool that analises a thread dump for me (e.g. TDA or the IBM one.) So far, I haven’t seen a thread dump that is that hard to read.

Of course I had to scratch my own itch! This past weekend I finally had time to write my own “Thread Dump Viewer.” It is an editor that provides everything I described. I was able to write a working editor in a matter of hours, using Xtext. The key was getting the grammar right. I spent an additional couple of hours making it “prettier.”

Here is a screenshot of the editor (click to enlarge.)

Here is a demo showing off the features of the “Thread Dump Viewer.”

I created this tool for my own use. I haven’t open-sourced the code or made the plug-in publicly available simply because I don’t know if anybody else would find this tool useful. If you do, please leave a comment.

Published at DZone with permission of Alex Ruiz, author and DZone MVB. (source)

(Note: Opinions expressed in this article and its replies are the opinions of their respective authors and not those of DZone, Inc.)



Jan Willem Janssen replied on Thu, 2012/11/15 - 4:47am

Please do release this plugin! 

I'd like to have such a plugin for Eclipse as well, and since you've already scratched your itch... ;)

Ulrich Merkel replied on Thu, 2012/11/15 - 8:17am

 let me backup Jan: PLEASE release this plugin.

Especially these basic helpers are very hard to find, and after you have spent a weekend,
it would be nice to share.

You will get a lot of "stars of eccelence" from me for this

Alex Ruiz replied on Mon, 2012/11/19 - 2:06pm in response to: Ulrich Merkel

Jan & Ulrich,

Thanks for the comments. I'm in the process of releasing the project as open source. I have to do some cleanups first. I'll write another post when it is ready.


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