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StackTraces

Intuitive, useful stack traces for Julia.

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StackTraces.jl

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StackTraces.jl provides simple stack traces that are both human readable and easy to use programmatically.

StackTraces functionality has been merged into the Julia standard library as of v0.5.

Moving forward, please use Base.stacktrace() and Base.catch_stacktrace() instead.
Documentation is available here.

Quick Start

Pkg.add("StackTraces")

Viewing a Stack Trace

The primary function used to obtain a stack trace is stacktrace:

julia> using StackTraces

julia> stacktrace()
2-element Array{StackTraces.StackFrame,1}:
 StackTraces.StackFrame(:eval_user_input,symbol("REPL.jl"),62,symbol(""),-1,false,13041465684)
 StackTraces.StackFrame(:anonymous,symbol("REPL.jl"),92,symbol("task.jl"),63,false,1304140086)

Calling stacktrace returns a vector of StackFrames. For ease of use, the alias StackTrace can be used in place of Vector{StackFrame}.

julia> example() = stacktrace()
example (generic function with 1 method)

julia> example()
3-element Array{StackTraces.StackFrame,1}:
 StackTraces.StackFrame(:example,:none,1,symbol(""),-1,false,13041535346)
 StackTraces.StackFrame(:eval_user_input,symbol("REPL.jl"),62,symbol(""),-1,false,13041465684)
 StackTraces.StackFrame(:anonymous,symbol("REPL.jl"),92,symbol("task.jl"),63,false,13041400866)

If you'd like the output to be a little more human-readable, replace calls to stacktrace (which returns a vector of StackFrames) with show_stacktrace (which prints the stacktrace to an IO stream).

julia> example() = show_stacktrace()
example (generic function with 1 method)

julia> example()
StackTrace with 3 StackFrames:
  example at none:1
  eval_user_input at REPL.jl:62
  [inlined code from REPL.jl:92] anonymous at task.jl:63

Note that when calling stacktrace from the REPL you'll always have those last two frames in the stack from REPL.jl (including the anonymous function from task.jl).

julia> @noinline child() = show_stacktrace()
child (generic function with 1 method)

julia> @noinline parent() = child()
parent (generic function with 1 method)

julia> grandparent() = parent()
grandparent (generic function with 1 method)

julia> grandparent()
StackTrace with 5 StackFrames:
  child at none:1
  parent at none:1
  grandparent at none:1
  eval_user_input at REPL.jl:62
  [inlined code from REPL.jl:92] anonymous at task.jl:63

Extracting Useful Information

Each StackFrame contains the function name, file name, line number, file and line information for inlined functions, a flag indicating whether it is a C function (by default C functions do not appear in the stack trace), and an integer representation of the pointer returned by backtrace:

julia> top_frame = stacktrace()[1]
StackTraces.StackFrame(:eval_user_input,symbol("REPL.jl"),62,symbol(""),-1,false, 13203085684)

julia> top_frame.func
:eval_user_input

julia> top_frame.file
symbol("REPL.jl")

julia> top_frame.line
62

julia> top_frame.inlined_file
symbol("")

julia> top_frame.inlined_line
-1

julia> top_frame.from_c
false

julia> top_frame.pointer
13203085684

This makes stack trace information available programmatically without having to capture and parse the output from something like Base.show_backtrace(io, backtrace()).

Error Handling

While having easy access to information about the current state of the callstack can be helpful in many places, the most obvious application is in error handling and debugging.

julia> example() = try
           error("Oh no!")
       catch
           show_stacktrace()
       end
example (generic function with 1 method)

julia> example()
StackTrace with 3 StackFrames:
  example at none:4
  eval_user_input at REPL.jl:62
  [inlined code from REPL.jl:92] anonymous at task.jl:63

You may notice that in the example above the first stack frame points points at line 4, where stacktrace is called, rather than line 2, where the error occurred. While in this example it's trivial to track down the actual source of the error, things can get misleading pretty quickly if the stack trace doesn't even point to the right function.

This can be remedied by calling catch_stacktrace instead of stacktrace. Instead of returning callstack information for the current context, catch_stacktrace returns stack information for the context of the most recent error:

julia> example() = try
           error("Oh no!")
       catch
           show_stacktrace(catch_stacktrace())
       end
example (generic function with 1 method)

julia> example()
StackTrace with 3 StackFrames:
  example at none:2
  eval_user_input at REPL.jl:62
  [inlined code from REPL.jl:92] anonymous at task.jl:63

Notice that the stack trace now indicates the appropriate line number.

julia> @noinline child() = error("Whoops!")
child (generic function with 1 method)

julia> @noinline parent() = child()
parent (generic function with 1 method)

julia> function grandparent()
           try
               parent()
           catch err
               println("ERROR: ", err.msg)
               show_stacktrace(catch_stacktrace())
           end
       end
grandparent (generic function with 1 method)

julia> grandparent()
ERROR: Whoops!
StackTrace with 5 StackFrames:
  child at none:1
  parent at none:1
  grandparent at none:3
  eval_user_input at REPL.jl:62
  [inlined code from REPL.jl:92] anonymous at task.jl:63

Architecture and API

Types

StackFrame is an immutable type with the following fields:

  • func::Symbol: the name of the function containing the execution context
  • file::Symbol: the path to the file containing the execution context
  • line::Integer: the line number in the file containing the execution context
  • inlined_file::Symbol: the path to the file containing the context for inlined code
  • inlined_line::Integer: the line number in the file containing the context for inlined code
  • from_c::Bool: true if the function is from C
  • pointer::Int64: a representation of the pointer to the stack context as returned by backtrace

StackTrace is an alias for Vector{StackFrame} (or Array{StackFrame, 1}), provided for convenience. Calls to stacktrace return StackTraces.

Neither StackTrace nor StackFrame are exported.

Functions

stacktrace

stacktrace(trace::Vector{Ptr{Void}}, c_funcs::Bool)

Returns a StackTrace (vector of StackFrames) representing either the current context or a context provided by output from a previous call to backtrace.

  • trace (optional): output from a call to backtrace to be turned into a vector of StackFrames
  • c_funcs (optional): true to include C calls in the resulting vector of StackFrames (by default, C calls are removed)

catch_stacktrace

catch_stacktrace(c_funcs::Bool)

Returns a StackTrace representing context of the current (most recent) exception.

show_stacktrace

show_stacktrace(io::IO, stack::StackTrace; full_path::Bool)

For those accustomed to calling Base.show_backtrace, StackTraces.jl also includes a show_stacktrace function that provides handy formatted output.

  • io (optional): the I/O stream to use for output (defaults to STDOUT)
  • stack (optional): the stack trace to output (defaults to stacktrace())
  • full_path (optional kwarg): true to include full path information for files in the trace (defaults to false) julia> show_stacktrace() StackTrace with 2 StackFrames: eval_user_input at REPL.jl:62 [inlined code from REPL.jl:92] anonymous at task.jl:63

format_stacktrace

format_stacktrace(stack::StackTrace, separator::AbstractString, start::AbstractString, finish::AbstractString; full_path::Bool)

Returns a human-readable string representing a formatted StackTrace.

  • stack: the stack trace to format
  • separator: a string to use to separate each stack frame
  • start (optional): a string with which to prepend the formatted stack trace
  • finish (optional): a string to append to the formatted stack trace
  • full_path (optional kwarg): true to include full path information for files in the trace (defaults to false) julia> format_stacktrace(stacktrace(), ", ", "{", "}") "{eval_user_input at REPL.jl:62, [inlined code from REPL.jl:92] anonymous at task.jl:63}"

You can, of course, format StackTraces yourself by looping through (or maping) the elements.

format_stackframe

format_stackframe(frame::StackFrame; full_path::Bool)

Returns a human-readable string representing a formatted StackFrame.

  • frame: the stack frame to format
  • full_path (optional kwarg): true to include full path information for files in the frame (defaults to false) julia> format_stackframe(stacktrace()[1]) "eval_user_input at REPL.jl:62"

Comparison with backtrace

Developers familiar with Julia's backtrace function, which returns a vector of Ptr{Void}, may be interested to know that you can pass that vector into stacktrace:

julia> stack = backtrace()
15-element Array{Ptr{Void},1}:
 Ptr{Void} @0x000000010e9562ed
 Ptr{Void} @0x0000000312f95f20
 Ptr{Void} @0x0000000312f95ea0
 Ptr{Void} @0x000000010e8e5776
 Ptr{Void} @0x000000010e950c04
 Ptr{Void} @0x000000010e94f2a8
 Ptr{Void} @0x000000010e94f137
 Ptr{Void} @0x000000010e95070d
 Ptr{Void} @0x000000010e95053f
 Ptr{Void} @0x000000010e963348
 Ptr{Void} @0x000000010e8edd67
 Ptr{Void} @0x0000000312f71974
 Ptr{Void} @0x0000000312f715c7
 Ptr{Void} @0x0000000312f65c22
 Ptr{Void} @0x000000010e95708f

julia> stacktrace(stack)
3-element Array{StackTraces.StackFrame,1}:
 StackTraces.StackFrame(:backtrace,symbol("error.jl"),26,symbol(""),-1,false,13203234592)
 StackTraces.StackFrame(:eval_user_input,symbol("REPL.jl"),62,symbol(""),-1,false,13203085684)
 StackTraces.StackFrame(:anonymous,symbol("REPL.jl"),92,symbol("task.jl"),63,false,13203037218)

You may notice that the vector returned by backtrace had 15 pointers, but the vector returned by stacktrace only had 3. This is because, by default, stacktrace removes any lower-level C functions from the stack. If you want to include stack frames from C calls, you can do it like this:

julia> stacktrace(stack, true)
15-element Array{StackTraces.StackFrame,1}:
 StackTraces.StackFrame(:rec_backtrace,symbol("/private/tmp/julia20151107-44794-o1d6wy/src/task.c"),644,symbol("/private/tmp/julia20151107-44794-o1d6wy/src/task.c"),703,true,4539638509)
 StackTraces.StackFrame(:backtrace,symbol("error.jl"),26,symbol(""),-1,false,13203234592)
 StackTraces.StackFrame(:jlcall_backtrace_21483,symbol(""),-1,symbol(""),-1,true,13203234464)
 StackTraces.StackFrame(:jl_apply,symbol("/private/tmp/julia20151107-44794-o1d6wy/src/gf.c"),1691,symbol("/private/tmp/julia20151107-44794-o1d6wy/src/gf.c"),1708,true,4539176822)
 StackTraces.StackFrame(:jl_apply,symbol("/private/tmp/julia20151107-44794-o1d6wy/src/interpreter.c"),55,symbol("/private/tmp/julia20151107-44794-o1d6wy/src/interpreter.c"),65,true,4539616260
 StackTraces.StackFrame(:eval,symbol("/private/tmp/julia20151107-44794-o1d6wy/src/interpreter.c"),213,symbol(""),-1,true,4539609768)
 StackTraces.StackFrame(:eval,symbol("/private/tmp/julia20151107-44794-o1d6wy/src/interpreter.c"),219,symbol(""),-1,true,4539609399)
 StackTraces.StackFrame(:eval_body,symbol("/private/tmp/julia20151107-44794-o1d6wy/src/interpreter.c"),592,symbol(""),-1,true,4539614989)
 StackTraces.StackFrame(:jl_toplevel_eval_body,symbol("/private/tmp/julia20151107-44794-o1d6wy/src/interpreter.c"),527,symbol(""),-1,true,4539614527)
 StackTraces.StackFrame(:jl_toplevel_eval_flex,symbol("/private/tmp/julia20151107-44794-o1d6wy/src/toplevel.c"),521,symbol(""),-1,true,4539691848)
 StackTraces.StackFrame(:jl_toplevel_eval_in,symbol("/private/tmp/julia20151107-44794-o1d6wy/src/builtins.c"),579,symbol(""),-1,true,4539211111)
 StackTraces.StackFrame(:eval_user_input,symbol("REPL.jl"),62,symbol(""),-1,false,13203085684)
 StackTraces.StackFrame(:jlcall_eval_user_input_21232,symbol(""),-1,symbol(""),-1,true,13203084743)
 StackTraces.StackFrame(:anonymous,symbol("REPL.jl"),92,symbol("task.jl"),63,false,13203037218)
 StackTraces.StackFrame(:jl_apply,symbol("/private/tmp/julia20151107-44794-o1d6wy/src/task.c"),241,symbol("/private/tmp/julia20151107-44794-o1d6wy/src/task.c"),240,true,4539641999)

License

StackTraces.jl is provided under the MIT "Expat" License. See LICENSE.md for details.

First Commit

10/05/2015

Last Touched

11 months ago

Commits

24 commits

Requires:

Used By: