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Spotlight on Macintosh, Debugging Tool for Developer & Testers


Onyx Technology have reinforced their position as the leading memory debugging tools vendor for the Macintosh community with the release of a new debugging tool called "Spotlight on Macintosh". Spotlight is easy to use yet powerful enough to become a key component of virtually every programmer and tester's arsenal of tools. Spotlight contains impressive abilities for providing memory protection services and fine granularity memory bounds checking, toolbox API discipline checking, and leaks detection. Spotlight requires that the developer/tester have a PowerPC xSYM file for analysis.

Fine Grained Memory Protection

Spotlight identifies reads and writes outside of application and system heap address spaces. Additionally, each read and write during execution of your application code is inspected to detect faulty accesses that occur between blocks in memory, stack and stack based objects, and in ROM.

Toolbox Validation

Spotlight checks parameters to over 400 Mac OS toolbox API calls. Automatic validation of handles, pointers, memory blocks, parameters and return values is just the beginning. Specific tests detect subtle errors such as drawing into unlocked GWorlds, passing invalid window pointers to the toolbox, and passing unlocked memory handles to routines that may move memory. Any one of these errors could take hours to debug without Spotlight. With Spotlight they are automatically detected and logged.

Leak Detection

Spotlight identifies 'leaks': memory allocations that are not released. A clear listing of leaks includes a stack trace showing the exact source code line where the leaked item was allocated and the size and frequency of the leak. Instantly discover all leaked Mac OS objects, malloc'd and C++ objects and undisposed of resources.

Brooks Bell, President of Onyx, on Spotlight:

"Onyx is a small company and we talk to programmers and QA testers daily. These customers have repeatedly told us that they needed better memory debugging tools. Spotlight's specs are like a checklist of their most requested features: Leak detection, trap validation, detection of all illegal memory reads and writes... And it all works at the source code level - most people don't want to go mucking around in PowerPC assembler if they don't have to. Tools similar to Spotlight exist on other platforms but until now Macintosh developers have not had access to them. We've been using it in house for a few months now and have found that this is one of those rare tools that will very often pay for itself the very first time you run it."

Ken Wieschhoff of Siren Enterprises and a Spotlight beta tester comments, "A wonderful complement to Onyx' current offering, QC, Spotlight has helped me find some very subtle bugs and has dramatically improved the quality of my software. I won't release without either one."

Sanford H. Selznick, another beta tester adds, "I had a very obtuse algorithmic bug which took me almost an entire week to track down. Spotlight found it in 15 minutes."

Pricing for Spotlight DR1 is on an annual subscription basis that includes free upgrades for a year. Subscription price is US$199 and is available direct from Onyx (see contact information above). If desired, you can acquire a PGP public key from our web site for encrypting sensitive credit card information. All Onyx products carry a 30 day no questions asked money back guarantee.


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