A line-oriented delta debugger.
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linedd is a simple delta-debugger for line-oriented text files. You can use it to minimize error-causing inputs to programs while preserving those errors (making it easier to debug your code). linedd is a self-contained python shell script, compatible with both Python 2.7 and Python 3.

In contrast to many delta-debuggers, linedd isn't specialized to deal with any particular syntax or format, beyond expecting line endings. This means that it can be used without modification to delta-debug any line-oriented text file. linedd is similar in spirit to Delta, but has a simpler (or just different) interface that may be more convenient (in particular, linedd is intended to be used directly on a buggy program without needing to write a wrapper script).

Using linedd is as simple as:

linedd file_to_minimize output_file command

Where the file_to_minimize is the file you start with, and output_file is where linedd should write its minimzed version. command is any arbitrary command that returns an exit code indicating an error, and may include spaces and arguments. linedd will then repeatedly execute command output_file, removing lines from output_file while ensuring that the exit code of command is unchanged. linedd assumes that the command expects the file as its last argument.

For example, if you have a configuration file "config.txt":


with an error on line 2 ('false' should be capitalized), and

myProgram --myFlag --configuration=config.txt 

crashes with segmentation fault (exit code 139) trying to read config.txt, then executing

linedd config.txt reduced_config.txt "myProgram --myFlag --configuration="

will create reduced_config.txt, containing just the segfault-inducing line


Technical Stuff

linedd will copy file_to_minimize to output_file and then execute command output_file and record the exit code. It will then repeatedly attempt to remove one or more individual lines from output_file, each time executing command output_file. If the exit code is preserved on this smaller file, linedd will keep the change and continue trying to remove other lines; if the exit code changes, linedd will backtrack, replacing the line and removing a new one.

In this way it continues removing lines until it reaches a fixed point.

linedd is styled after the delta-debugging tools developed at the Institute for Formal Models and Verification.