Mediator to achieve remote debugging across platforms
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Debug protocol

Since debug-broker is a mediator between application and debug UI, both application and debug UI should exchange messages using the same protocol.

Application side

Application publishes available debug information for debug-broker to control. Here's how sample application side JSON looks like:

  "title": "Ex03",
  "pages": [
      "title": "camera",
      "items": [
          "title": "BGColor",
          "value": "51,51,102",
          "isWritable": 1
          "title": "Position/Rotation",
          "value": "0.000000,-6.883219,0.000000/90.000000,0.000000,-0.000000",
          "isWritable": 0

Applications may host one or more so-called debuggers. Debugger is a container of so-called debug pages.

In this case, we have:

  • single debugger named Ex03.
  • single debug page named camera.

Debug pages contain items to debug.

In this case, camera items are:

  • BGColor
    • with a value of 51,51,102
    • the value is read-write
  • Position/Rotation
    • with a value of 0.000000,-6.883219,0.000000/90.000000,0.000000,-0.000000
    • the value is read-only

Debug UI side

Debug UI either queries debug page items, or alters debug page item(s).

Here's how debug UI query JSON looks like:

  "title": "Ex03"

Here's how debug UI alteration JSON looks like:

  "title": "Ex03",
  "pages": [
      "title": "camera",
      "items": [
          "title": "BGColor",
          "value": "0,0,0"

Internal logic

Value prioritization

We have both application and debug UI sending values to debug-broker. Which value does debug-broker prefer? debug-broker accepts complete new items from Application, and values from UI.

HTTP requests

debug-broker only accepts POST requests with a body as JSON listed above. 7999 port is used by default.

If sent message contains isWritable property, such message is considered to originate from application. Otherwise, from debug UI.

Once message has been received and processed, debug-broker returns message containing values that are now valid.


Node.js is the only dependency of debug-broker. So you only need to have Node.js to run debug-broker.


To start debug-broker, run the following command:

$ node index.js
Server listening at port 7999


  • localhost is usually unreachable by Android emulators and iOS devices
  • we recommend to host debug-broker at a machine available to all your devices


Heroku provides free hosting for Node.js apps. If you host debug-broker there, you can access debug-broker from virtually anywhere.

Warning: debug-broker has no authentication, so anyone would be able to access your debug-broker instance.

Note: read Getting started with Node.js guide to understand how to deploy Node.js applications to Heroku.

Here's a brief information on how to host debug-broker at Heroku:

  • go to debug-broker directory

    $ cd /path/to/debug-broker
  • create Heroku application

    $ heroku create app-name
    Creating ⬢ app-name... done |
  • deploy debug-broker application:

    $ git push heroku master

Installation verification

Run the following command:

$ curl <debug-broker-http(s)-address>

You should get DebugBroker as a response to GET request.

Debug UI

Debug UI implemented as an HTML page is available here.

Sample application

Sample application that you can alter using this debug UI is available here.