[tex-live] Debugging symbols for binaries

Henri Menke henrimenke at gmail.com
Thu Jun 9 16:05:53 CEST 2016

Dear list,

recently I found that pdftex segfaults [1].  When trying to find the
issue, I ran pdftex in gdb to obtain a full backtrace.  Unfortunately,
without debugging symbols these backtraces are somewhat worthless, as
they only show memory addresses.  I then tried to compile pdftex from
source, but soon noticed that a lot of handwork has to be done to make
it run (installing header files, building formats, etc.).

Therefore, I ask humbly, whether it would be possible to include
debugging symbols for binaries in TeXlive (perhaps in an extra tree like
documentation and sources).  It is not necessary to have extra binaries
with symbols, but symbols can be extracted to an extra file after
compilation [2], so there is little to no redundancy.

Below I have listed some pros and cons:

[+] Experienced users have the ability to debug crashes
[+] Developers might receive higher quality bug reports
[+] Full stack traces reveal why it »doesn't work on my machine«

[-] Little to no use for most of the users
[-] Additional disk space (approx. 5 times the size of the exe)
[-] Platform dependent

Thank you very much for your consideration.

Kind regards,

[1] https://www.tug.org/pipermail/tex-live/2016-June/038664.html
[2] https://stackoverflow.com/questions/866721

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