A real-time frame-based profiler for D.
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README.rst

Despiker 0.1

https://raw.githubusercontent.com/kiith-sa/despiker/master/code.dlang.org-shield.png

Note: while somewhat usable, Despiker is extremely experimental and unstable. For example, at the moment Despiker does not handle invalid profiling data and will crash with an assertion failure if it receives such data. Also, Despiker is likely to see only sporadic development until second half of 2015.

Introduction

despiker-screen.png

Despiker (video) is a graphical real-time frame-based profiler for the D programming language based on the Tharsis.prof library.

A frame-based profiler is a specialized profiling tool for interactive programs such as games, hence frame - an iteration of an event loop. Unlike a traditional profiler, which aggregates time spent in various parts of code, a frame-based profiler keeps track of time spent in each individual frame separately.

This allows to find not only where overhead occurs, but when it occurs. A frame-based profiler can find the exact frame when overhead was unexpectedly high (manifesting in a sharp FPS decrease, or lag), which would get averaged out with a normal profiler. It also allows to view how overhead in various parts of code evolves over time as the program (game) runs.

Note that to use Despiker, you need to instrument parts of your code with Tharsis.prof. This is explained in detail in the tutorial.

For more in-depth background on frame-based profiling, see blog posts about development of Tharsis.prof, the base library behind Despiker:

Despiker is a work in progress and will see interface and compatibility breaking changes in future.

Getting started

See the tutorial.

Requirements

Despiker should run on any platform with OpenGL 3.3 or newer, as long as there is a D compiler and a version of SDL for that platform. Despiker has only been tested on x86-64 Linux so far, and there are no official builds for other platforms yet.

If you encounter a problem getting Despiker to compile or run (see tutorial) on Windows, OSX or another platform, you are welcome to report a bug. You and even more welcome to fork Despiker and create a pull request, especially if you want that problem solved now instead of in a few months.

Features

  • Tutorial.
  • (Somewhat, see above) cross-platform. Should work at least on Linux, Windows and OSX.
  • Can profile a game in real-time as it runs, or afterwards, using dumped profiling data.
  • Allows the user to move forward and backward between frames
  • Can be used to profile multi-threaded code (using one Tharsis.prof Profiler per thread, as long as frames are consistent in all profiled threads.
  • Can view variable values recorded by Tharsis.prof.
  • Quick button to find the slowest frame (yes, not very sophisticated for now).
  • GUI and main functionality are separate to make it easy to write new GUI frontends.
  • GUI can be controlled almost fully from keyboard.

Controls

Control Action
Space Pause/resume current (real-time) frame view
H/L Previous/next frame
W/D, RMB drag Panning
-/+, mouse wheel Zooming
1 Jump to the worst/slowest frame

Directory structure

Directory Contents
./ This README, utility scripts.
./doc Documentation.
./docsrc Documentation sources.
./source Source code.

License

Despiker is released under the terms of the Boost Software License 1.0. This license allows you to use the source code in your own projects, open source or proprietary, and to modify it to suit your needs. However, in source distributions, you have to preserve the license headers in the source code and the accompanying license file.

Full text of the license can be found in file LICENSE_1_0.txt and is also displayed here:

Boost Software License - Version 1.0 - August 17th, 2003

Permission is hereby granted, free of charge, to any person or organization
obtaining a copy of the software and accompanying documentation covered by
this license (the "Software") to use, reproduce, display, distribute,
execute, and transmit the Software, and to prepare derivative works of the
Software, and to permit third-parties to whom the Software is furnished to
do so, all subject to the following:

The copyright notices in the Software and this entire statement, including
the above license grant, this restriction and the following disclaimer,
must be included in all copies of the Software, in whole or in part, and
all derivative works of the Software, unless such copies or derivative
works are solely in the form of machine-executable object code generated by
a source language processor.

THE SOFTWARE IS PROVIDED "AS IS", WITHOUT WARRANTY OF ANY KIND, EXPRESS OR
IMPLIED, INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO THE WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY,
FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE, TITLE AND NON-INFRINGEMENT. IN NO EVENT
SHALL THE COPYRIGHT HOLDERS OR ANYONE DISTRIBUTING THE SOFTWARE BE LIABLE
FOR ANY DAMAGES OR OTHER LIABILITY, WHETHER IN CONTRACT, TORT OR OTHERWISE,
ARISING FROM, OUT OF OR IN CONNECTION WITH THE SOFTWARE OR THE USE OR OTHER
DEALINGS IN THE SOFTWARE.

Credits

Despiker was created by Ferdinand Majerech aka Kiith-Sa kiithsacmp[AT]gmail.com .

Parts of code based on gfm created by Games from Mars.

Despiker was created using Vim and DMD on Linux Mint as a real-time game profiler for D. See more D projects at code.dlang.org.