Interactive Debuggers

Open Firmware has an interactive Forth language interpreter that uses the same run-time system that executes FCode drivers. The Forth interpreter provides a set of programmable debugging features to allow developers, users, and service personnel to isolate system problems in the event of a failure.

Open Firmware can debug hardware, operating system software, plug-in drivers, and even the firmware itself. The emphasis is on interactive tools for exploring problems, rather than "canned" diagnostics (although Open Firmware includes provisions for "canned" diagnostics as well). With today's short product cycles, a new design may spend as much time in the lab as in actual production. Open Firmware is an excellent bringup tool, and has been shown to shorten the time it takes to get a product to market.

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Last Modified: February 9, 1996