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39 Debugger Information

Although the compiler’s great freedom in choice of function call conventions and variable representations has major efficiency advantages, it also has unfortunate consequences for the debugger. The debug information that we need is even more elaborate than for conventional “compiled” languages, since we cannot even do a simple backtrace without some debug information. However, once having gone this far, it is not that difficult to go the extra distance, and provide full source level debugging of compiled code.

Full debug information has a substantial space penalty, so we allow different levels of debug information to be specified. In the extreme case, we can totally omit debug information.