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    Tools/Debugger-API/Debugger.Frame

    Debugger.Frame

    A Debugger.Frame instance represents a visible stack frame. Given a Debugger.Frame instance, you can find the script the frame is executing, walk the stack to older frames, find the lexical environment in which the execution is taking place, and so on.

    For a given Debugger instance, SpiderMonkey creates only one Debugger.Frame instance for a given visible frame. Every handler method called while the debuggee is running in a given frame is given the same frame object. Similarly, walking the stack back to a previously accessed frame yields the same frame object as before. Debugger code can add its own properties to a frame object and expect to find them later, use == to decide whether two expressions refer to the same frame, and so on.

    (If more than one Debugger instance is debugging the same code, each Debugger gets a separate Debugger.Frame instance for a given frame. This allows the code using each Debugger instance to place whatever properties it likes on its Debugger.Frame instances, without worrying about interfering with other debuggers.)

    When the debuggee pops a stack frame (say, because a function call has returned or an exception has been thrown from it), the Debugger.Frame instance referring to that frame becomes inactive: its live property becomes false, and accessing its other properties or calling its methods throws an exception. Note that frames only become inactive at times that are predictable for the debugger: when the debuggee runs, or when the debugger removes frames from the stack itself.

    Stack frames that represent the control state of generator-iterator objects behave in a special way, described in Generator Frames below.

    Visible Frames

    When inspecting the call stack, Debugger does not reveal all the frames that are actually present on the stack: while it does reveal all frames running debuggee code, it omits frames running the debugger’s own code, and omits most frames running non-debuggee code. We call those stack frames a Debugger does reveal visible frames.

    A frame is a visible frame if any of the following are true:

    • it is running debuggee code;

    • its immediate caller is a frame running debuggee code; or

    • it is a "debugger" frame, representing the continuation of debuggee code invoked by the debugger.

    The “immediate caller” rule means that, when debuggee code calls a non-debuggee function, it looks like a call to a primitive: you see a frame for the non-debuggee function that was accessible to the debuggee, but any further calls that function makes are treated as internal details, and omitted from the stack trace. If the non-debuggee function eventually calls back into debuggee code, then those frames are visible.

    (Note that the debuggee is not considered an “immediate caller” of handler methods it triggers. Even though the debuggee and debugger share the same JavaScript stack, frames pushed for SpiderMonkey’s calls to handler methods to report events in the debuggee are never considered visible frames.)

    Invocation Functions and “debugger” Frames

    An invocation function is any function in this interface that allows the debugger to invoke code in the debuggee: Debugger.Object.prototype.call, Debugger.Frame.prototype.eval, and so on.

    While invocation functions differ in the code to be run and how to pass values to it, they all follow this general procedure:

    1. Let older be the youngest visible frame on the stack, or null if there is no such frame. (This is never one of the the debugger’s own frames; those never appear as Debugger.Frame instances.)

    2. Push a "debugger" frame on the stack, with older as its older property.

    3. Invoke the debuggee code as appropriate for the given invocation function, with the "debugger" frame as its continuation. For example, Debugger.Frame.prototype.eval pushes an "eval" frame for code it runs, whereas Debugger.Object.prototype.call pushes a "call" frame.

    4. When the debuggee code completes, whether by returning, throwing an exception or being terminated, pop the "debugger" frame, and return an appropriate completion value from the invocation function to the debugger.

    When a debugger calls an invocation function to run debuggee code, that code’s continuation is the debugger, not the next debuggee code frame. Pushing a "debugger" frame makes this continuation explicit, and makes it easier to find the extent of the stack created for the invocation.

    Accessor Properties of the Debugger.Frame Prototype Object

    A Debugger.Frame instance inherits the following accessor properties from its prototype:

    type

    A string describing what sort of frame this is:

    • "call": a frame running a function call. (We may not be able to obtain frames for calls to host functions.)

    • "eval": a frame running code passed to eval.

    • "global": a frame running global code (JavaScript that is neither of the above).

    • "debugger": a frame for a call to user code invoked by the debugger (see the eval method below).

    implementation

    A string describing which tier of the JavaScript engine this frame is executing in:

    • "interpreter": a frame running in the interpreter.

    • "baseline": a frame running in the unoptimizing, baseline JIT.

    • "ion": a frame running in the optimizing JIT.

    this

    The value of this for this frame (a debuggee value).

    older

    The next-older visible frame, in which control will resume when this frame completes. If there is no older frame, this is null. (On a suspended generator frame, the value of this property is null; see Generator Frames.)

    depth

    The depth of this frame, counting from oldest to youngest; the oldest frame has a depth of zero.

    live

    True if the frame this Debugger.Frame instance refers to is still on the stack (or, in the case of generator-iterator objects, has not yet finished its iteration); false if it has completed execution or been popped in some other way.

    script

    The script being executed in this frame (a Debugger.Script instance), or null on frames that do not represent calls to debuggee code. On frames whose callee property is not null, this is equal to callee.script.

    offset

    The offset of the bytecode instruction currently being executed in script, or undefined if the frame’s script property is null.

    environment

    The lexical environment within which evaluation is taking place (a Debugger.Environment instance), or null on frames that do not represent the evaluation of debuggee code, like calls non-debuggee functions, host functions or "debugger" frames.

    callee

    The function whose application created this frame, as a debuggee value, or null if this is not a "call" frame.

    generator

    True if this frame is a generator frame, false otherwise.

    constructing

    True if this frame is for a function called as a constructor, false otherwise.

    arguments

    The arguments passed to the current frame, or null if this is not a "call" frame. When non-null, this is an object, allocated in the same global as the debugger, with Array.prototype on its prototype chain, a non-writable length property, and properties whose names are array indices. Each property is a read-only accessor property whose getter returns the current value of the corresponding parameter. When the referent frame is popped, the argument value’s properties’ getters throw an error.

    Handler Methods of Debugger.Frame Instances

    Each Debugger.Frame instance inherits accessor properties holding handler functions for SpiderMonkey to call when given events occur in the frame.

    Calls to frames’ handler methods are cross-compartment, intra-thread calls: the call takes place in the thread to which the frame belongs, and runs in the compartment to which the handler method belongs.

    Debugger.Frame instances inherit the following handler method properties:

    onStep

    This property must be either undefined or a function. If it is a function, SpiderMonkey calls it when execution in this frame makes a small amount of progress, passing no arguments and providing this Debugger.Frame instance as the thisvalue. The function should return a resumption value specifying how the debuggee’s execution should proceed.

    What constitutes “a small amount of progress” varies depending on the implementation, but it is fine-grained enough to implement useful “step” and “next” behavior.

    If multiple Debugger instances each have Debugger.Frame instances for a given stack frame with onStep handlers set, their handlers are run in an unspecified order. If any onStep handler forces the frame to return early (by returning a resumption value other than undefined), any remaining debuggers’ onStep handlers do not run.

    This property is ignored on frames that are not executing debuggee code, like "call" frames for calls to host functions and "debugger" frames.

    onPop

    This property must be either undefined or a function. If it is a function, SpiderMonkey calls it just before this frame is popped, passing a completion value indicating how this frame’s execution completed, and providing this Debugger.Frame instance as the this value. The function should return a resumption value indicating how execution should proceed. On newly created frames, this property’s value is undefined.

    When this handler is called, this frame’s current execution location, as reflected in its offset and environment properties, is the operation which caused it to be unwound. In frames returning or throwing an exception, the location is often a return or a throw statement. In frames propagating exceptions, the location is a call.

    When an onPop call reports the completion of a construction call (that is, a function called via the new operator), the completion value passed to the handler describes the value returned by the function body. If this value is not an object, it may be different from the value produced by the new expression, which will be the value of the frame’s this property. (In ECMAScript terms, the onPop handler receives the value returned by the [[Call]] method, not the value returned by the [[Construct]] method.)

    When a debugger handler function forces a frame to complete early, by returning a { return:... }, { throw:... }, or null resumption value, SpiderMonkey calls the frame’s onPop handler, if any. The completion value passed in this case reflects the resumption value that caused the frame to complete.

    When SpiderMonkey calls an onPop handler for a frame that is throwing an exception or being terminated, and the handler returns undefined, then SpiderMonkey proceeds with the exception or termination. That is, an undefined resumption value leaves the frame’s throwing and termination process undisturbed.

    (Not yet implemented.) When a generator frame yields a value, SpiderMonkey calls its Debugger.Frame instance’s onPop handler method, if present, passing a yield resumption value; however, the Debugger.Frame instance remains live.

    If multiple Debugger instances each have Debugger.Frame instances for a given stack frame with onPop handlers set, their handlers are run in an unspecified order. The resumption value each handler returns establishes the completion value reported to the next handler.

    This handler is not called on "debugger" frames. It is also not called when unwinding a frame due to an over-recursion or out-of-memory exception.

    onResume

    This property must be either undefined or a function. If it is a function, SpiderMonkey calls it if the current frame is a generator frame whose execution has just been resumed. The function should return a resumption value indicating how execution should proceed. On newly created frames, this property’s value is undefined.

    If the program resumed the generator by calling its send method and passing a value, then value is that value. Otherwise, value is undefined.

    Function Properties of the Debugger.Frame Prototype Object

    The functions described below may only be called with a this value referring to a Debugger.Frame instance; they may not be used as methods of other kinds of objects.

    eval(code, [options])

    Evaluate code in the execution context of this frame, and return a completion value describing how it completed. Code is a string. If this frame’s environment property is null, throw a TypeError. All extant handler methods, breakpoints, watchpoints, and so on remain active during the call. This function follows the invocation function conventions.

    Code is interpreted as strict mode code when it contains a Use Strict Directive, or the code executing in this frame is strict mode code.

    If code is not strict mode code, then variable declarations in code affect the environment of this frame. (In the terms used by the ECMAScript specification, the VariableEnvironment of the execution context for the eval code is the VariableEnvironment of the execution context that this frame represents.) If implementation restrictions prevent SpiderMonkey from extending this frame’s environment as requested, this call throws an Error exception.

    If given, options should be an object whose properties specify details of how the evaluation should occur. The eval method recognizes the following properties:

    url

    The filename or URL to which we should attribute code. If this property is omitted, the URL defaults to "debugger eval code".

    lineNumber

    The line number at which the evaluated code should be claimed to begin within url.

    evalWithBindings(code, bindings, [options])

    Like eval, but evaluate code in the environment of this frame, extended with bindings from the object bindings. For each own enumerable property of bindings named name whose value is value, include a variable in the environment in which code is evaluated named name, whose value is value. Each value must be a debuggee value. (This is not like a with statement: code may access, assign to, and delete the introduced bindings without having any effect on the bindings object.)

    This method allows debugger code to introduce temporary bindings that are visible to the given debuggee code and which refer to debugger-held debuggee values, and do so without mutating any existing debuggee environment.

    Note that, like eval, declarations in the code passed to evalWithBindings affect the environment of this frame, even as that environment is extended by bindings visible within code. (In the terms used by the ECMAScript specification, the VariableEnvironment of the execution context for the eval code is the VariableEnvironment of the execution context that this frame represents, and the bindings appear in a new declarative environment, which is the eval code’s LexicalEnvironment.) If implementation restrictions prevent SpiderMonkey from extending this frame’s environment as requested, this call throws an Error exception.

    The options argument is as for Debugger.Frame.prototype.eval, described above.

    Generator Frames

    Not all behavior described in this section has been implemented yet.

    SpiderMonkey supports generator-iterator objects, which produce a series of values by repeatedly suspending the execution of a function or expression. For example, calling a function that uses yield produces a generator-iterator object, as does evaluating a generator expression like (i*i for each (i in [1,2,3])).

    A generator-iterator object refers to a stack frame with no fixed continuation frame. While the generator’s code is running, its continuation is whatever frame called its next method; while the generator is suspended, it has no particular continuation frame; and when it resumes again, the continuation frame for that resumption could be different from that of the previous resumption.

    A Debugger.Frame instance representing a generator frame differs from an ordinary stack frame as follows:

    • A generator frame’s generator property is true.

    • A generator frame disappears from the stack each time the generator yields a value and is suspended, and reappears atop the stack when it is resumed to produce the generator’s next value. The same Debugger.Frame instance refers to the generator frame until it returns, throws an exception, or is terminated.

    • A generator frame’s older property refers to the frame’s continuation frame while the generator is running, and is null while the generator is suspended.

    • A generator frame’s depth property reflects the frame’s position on the stack when the generator is resumed, and is null while the generator is suspended.

    • A generator frame’s live property remains true until the frame returns, throws an exception, or is terminated. Thus, generator frames can be live while not present on the stack.

    The other Debugger.Frame methods and accessor properties work as described on generator frames, even when the generator frame is suspended. You may examine a suspended generator frame’s variables, and use its script and offset members to see which yield it is suspended at.

    A Debugger.Frame instance referring to a generator-iterator frame has a strong reference to the generator-iterator object; the frame (and its object) will live as long as the Debugger.Frame instance does. However, when the generator function returns, throws an exception, or is terminated, thus ending the iteration, the Debugger.Frame instance becomes inactive and its live property becomes false, just as would occur for any other sort of frame that is popped. A non-live Debugger.Frame instance no longer holds a strong reference to the generator-iterator object.

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