SN Systems Tech Blog


Measuring the User Debug Experience

ARTICLE BY: Greg Bedwell
POSTED: Jul 11, 2019
TAGS: Compiler, Debugger, LLVM, Toolchain

For a game to hit 30 frames-per-second, all of the frame compute has to fit into ~33.3 ms, at 60 frames-per-second it has to fit into ~16.7 ms. Games are reliant on compiler optimizations to get near to these target frame times, without these optimizations the game may be unplayable. Unfortunately, compiler optimizations tend to interfere with the "debuggability" of the code. This can be for legitimate reasons, i.e. some optimizations fundamentally changing the structure of the code and it may no longer resemble the original source code. In other cases, it can be down to the compiler not preserving debug information that could have been preserved. Game developers often need to play the fully optimized game in order to trigger the required condition to reproduce a reported bug. Making it easier to debug fully optimized code is a request that we hear regularly from game developers.


Supporting A Clang Compiler Optimizer Crash

POSTED: Jul 05, 2019
TAGS: Clang, Developer Services, Toolchain

Split between Bristol (UK) and Campbell (USA), the SN Systems Developer Service Team support PlayStation® game developers globally. Due to the variety of tools SN Systems develop and support, the work of a Developer Support Engineer varies day to day. The work ranges from high level investigations into simple cosmetic UI issues, to low level investigations of the instructions generated by the CPU Toolchain and checking it for errors or performance issues.


Error Handling in Libraries: A Case Study

ARTICLE BY: James Henderson
POSTED: Dec 13, 2018
TAGS: DWARF, LLVM, LLVM Developers Meeting, Toolchain

Using work performed on the DWARF debug line parser earlier this year as an example, this talk will show some of the pitfalls and problems a library developer has to be aware of when handling errors in their code, and will present some good rules of thumb that should be followed.