ProKylix - Features

Last Update of this page: March/25/2001

Action controlled measurement:
Measurement can be switched on and off dynamically by entering and finishing a procedure or function. This can be activated user friendly by a selection form (for fast changing the activation points), by special comments and by API-calls in the source files (if permanently the same points shall be used for a long period).

With one profiling session the number of calls for a method (call count profiling), the average runtime of a method (function profiling),  function coverage profiling and emulation profiling can be performed. When developing ProKylix, the philosophy was (and is) to develop a high precision profiling tool (thats why it is neither a sampling  nor a machine code instrumenting profiler) and to produce a minimum of overhead (that's why there is no line profiling mode). See also Profiler type.

Compiler versions:
ProKylix supports Kylix 1.0. Upgrades for future Linux versions of Kylix will be cost free.

Conditional compilation:
Fully supported. Compiler symbols and switches are read from the compilers option file (DOF).

Coverage profiling:
A browser can display all methods which were not called. (For a line-by-line coverage tool have a look at my link page).

ProKylix comes with a real User Guide (and not with slim online help).

Exclusion of parts of the program from measurement:


Units or Include files: Parts of a unit or an include file: Automatic exclusion: Freeware mode:
There is only one version of ProKylix. After downloading it, it runs in the Freeware mode. By entering the registration information it automatically runs in the Professional mode (see also 'Differences between Freeware- and Professional mode').

ProKylix measure in CPU-cycles. The smallest measurable unit is 1 CPU-cycle. This means that on a Pentium with 1000 MHz the smallest measurable duration is 0.001 µs = 1ns.

Handling of idle times:
Idle times produced by some Linux-API calls are not measured, also idle times of some Kylix calls. See list of handled functions in the manual.

ProKylix supports Pentium and Pentium compatible processors.
For the profiling session 16 MB RAM is used additionally by ProKylix.

History function:
ProKylix comes with a built-in history function. The viewer shows by a colored grid, which functions got faster and which got slower since the last storing of results into the history file. By a mouse click on a result line of the viewers grid, the time from the history file is displayed for the selected procedure.

History of ProKylix:
ProKylix is a ported version of ProDelphi (see there).

Industrial approvement:
The windows version of ProKylix (ProDelphi) was first used to optimize the SIEMENS - SCADA-system VICOS P500 for the projects Metro Guang Zhou,  Shen Zhen and Sixth Railways in China. Other projects followed later (e.g. Melbourne).

Integration into the Kylix tools menu:
If ProKylix is installed with the setup program, it is automatically integrated into the Kylix tools menu.

There are no limitations regarding size or accuracy: Even the smallest procedures are measured accurate, there is no minimum size required for a procedure to be measured.

Line profiling:
Line profiling is not supported. This has two reasons: Counting runtimes for lines changes the instruction processing of the CPU so much, that no useful results can be expected. Counting runtime for lines also slows down a program too much.

Local Procedures:
Can optionally be excluded from measurement..

Measuring runtimes in shared object libraries:
Not supported yet due to a bug in Kylix.

Measurement accuracy:
ProKylix measures very accurately. The measurement overhead is automatically removed from the measured times. A sophisticated algorithym calculates the runtime used for measurement at initialization time. Nested function calls are no problem for ProKylix. You can easily check the accuracy of ProKylix with the included example programs.
One measures automatically the run-time of a few procedures and displays the result. The second program uses the same procedures without measuring, it has to be profiled.

Measurement results:
The measured durations are displayed either in CPU-Cycles or in a variable time format. Following time formats are automatically selected:

For all methods the time for a single call and the runtime sum is displayed (also additionally with included child times).

Multiple profiling directories:
Fully supported. ProKylix reads the options file (*.kof) of Kylix and automatically scans all directories in the search path + the directory of the dpr-file.

Object orientation:
Specially supported by the optional feature of adding the runtimes of all methods with the same name (if the used object is the same).
Example: A method 'LoadFromDisk' calls the method 'LoadFromDisk' of the inherited class. In this case the runtimes of both classes will be added.

Online operating the measurement:
Measurement can be switched on and off at the programs runtime, also results can be stored online.

Operating systems:
ProKylix is compatible to Suse 7.1. Other platforms supported by Kylix should also work.

Optimization option:
The optimization of the Kylix compiler is automatically deactivated if the user forgets this. This guaranties high measurement accuracy.

Measurement of runtime costs measurement overhead. This is another point (like accuracy) where ProKylix shows its outstanding quality: by a very low measurement overhead. All measurement routines are extremely optimized.

Post Mortem Review:
Instead of vaccinating (instrumenting) the sources with statements for runtime measurement, it can be vaccinated with statements for exception trapping. In case of an exception occuring the call stack is stored into a file inclusive the name of the exception.
The program can be delivered in an instrumented form to a customer. This could be done in case of sporadic exceptions. The source code does not have to be given to the customer (together with the Kylix-IDE).

Printing reports:
Optionally a printable file can be stored (see also 'Viewing of measurement results').

Professional mode:
There is only one version of ProKylix. After downloading it, it runs in the Freeware mode. By entering the registration information it automatically runs in the Professional mode (see also 'Differences between Freeware- and Professional mode').

Profiler type:
ProKylix is a source code instrumenting profiler. Source instrumenting versus machine code instrumenting has the big advantage, that at the best position possible a time stamp can be taken: At the start and the end of the procedure body. No profiler internal code outside the procedure is called before taking the time stamp. No profiler code has possibly to be copied into the processor cache before taking the time stamp (which destroys the accuracy). The normal instruction flow (nearly identical as without profiling) is kept. This is one of the reasons for ProKylix's outstanding accuaracy.

Another advantage of a source instrumenting profiler is, that idle times (caused e.g. by opening a message box) can be handled. Before calling the Linux- or CLX-function, the measurement is deactivated.
The only disadvantage of a source instrumenting profiler is that the source files are changed by the vaccination (instrumentation) process. To avoid the risk of impacting the sources, they should be saved before.

Sampling profilers: with a low sampling rate small procedures can not be measured, with a high sampling rate the profiled program has to be interrupted very often, what means, that the runtime behaviour of the tested program is changed very much. Sampling profilers also cannot handle idle times.

Measurement can be switched on and off at runtime. Intermediate results can be stored on disk.

ProKylix inserts statements into the source files. If this process has a bug or in case of power failure, the sources might be destroyed. It is strongly recommended to save all source code files before profiling (e.g. by zip or tar).

ProKylix is delivered with a easy to use setup program. It copies all files into the appropriate directories, integrates ProKylix into the Kylix tools menu.

Switching off of all measurement:
Simply done by deleting a compiler symbol and recompilation.

ProKylix has special settings for single threaded applications (low overhead, extremly accurate) and for multi threaded applications (medium overhead, medium accurate).

If you decide to use ProKylix, you can download any upgrade or bug fix from my homepage. If you need ProKylix for a larger project and 30 measured procedures are not enough for you, you can order the key to upgrade to the professional mode via ShareIt registration service. If you do so, any downloaded new version will automatically run in the professional mode (Buy one - get many).

Viewing of measurement results:
Results can be either displayed in CPU-cycles or in a variable time format. On a pentium with 500 MHz the smallest time unit is 0.002µs.
ProKylix has THREE possibilities of viewing the measured runtimes:

The viewer can automatically exclude methods with a very low runtime from result displaying.

Y2K compliance:
ProKylix is fully Year 2000 compliant

Differences between Freeware- and Professional mode: