Let’s start from scratch by describing the use of having a crash reporting system in your arsenal. A crash reporting system (CRS) provides information like stack trace of the crash, version of the software and other useful informations which provides the developer with enough resources to diagnose and fix the underlying problem causing the crash. Here enters Google Breakpad, a open source multi-platform crash reporting system that allows the distribution of applications to users without the compiler provided debugging information, it records crashes in compact minidump files and can send them back to a server where it is analysed to generate human readable c, c++ stack traces. It is being developed in collaboration by Google and Mozilla. Firefox, Thunderbird, Google Chrome and Google Earth are some of the projects using Breakpad. It is on the verge of being the first open-source multi-platform crash reporting system. Lets see some intriguing features of its working.
Breakpad works by striping the debugging information from your application. This debugging information is then processed by breakpad’s symbol dumper tool which produces a symbol file in breakpad’s own format. This symbol file is used by the minidump processor to associate the minidump with a proper version of the application. The application is shipped to users along with the brekpad client. When the application crashes breakpad client writes a minidump file which can be sent to some server for processing where breakpad’s minidump processor kicks in and analyzes the minidump to generate a stack trace describing the crash.
Adding breakpad to your project will significantly reduce the burden of bug tracking :o and will ensure smooth maintenance of the software.
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