Light-Weight Instrumentation From Relational Queries Over Program Traces

, Jun 20, 2004

This sounds interesting (via LtU):

Instrumenting programs with code to monitor their dynamic behaviour is a technique as old as computing. Today, most instrumentation is either inserted manually by programmers, which is tedious, or automatically by specialized tools, which are nontrivial to build and monitor particular properties. We introduce Program Trace Query Language (PTQL), a general language in which programmers can write expressive, declarative queries about program behaviour. PTQL is based on relational queries over program traces. We argue that PTQL is more amenable to human and machine understanding than competing languages. We also describe a compiler, Partiqle, that takes a PTQL query and a Java program and produces an instrumented program. This instrumented program runs normally but also evaluates the PTQL query on-line.