> We have pretty much stopped using intel object files
> and executables (which were originally used for unit
> testing), since the application code contains calls
> to device drivers which only exist on the target.
Maybe you should go back to unit testing on the intel platform. By doing so you could see if the memory leaks are in the application code or the target devices drivers/libraries.
> I think we've gone past the point where we can
> compile a full application for intel, we use custom
> device drivers on the ppc target and while we could
> write intel stub versions of these there would be
> some work involved.
The advantages are better control over your test environment. The stubs need only be very basic and could automatically log all interactions with them. The advantages of doing this is that you could do most of your testing on the intel platform (pretty much everything but performance) and be relatively sure that your application works.
> We're doing some deskchecking and that is proving
> useful. The kneejerk management response was to buy
> third party tools. Rational purify - at first glance
> not supported for linux - does anyone know is it
> possible to use? Parasoft insure++ - it looked like
> there was a free time limited demo but when we
> requested it we were promptly asked for 40,000 euro
> for a five site license.
Purify is not supported on linux and when I asked them early last year they had no plans to even think about it.
Insure++ is a very good tool. It does both static and runtime checking for lots of different memory errors. But as you've seen it doesn't come cheap - although the EUR40k seems over the top. Plus, AFAIK it only runs on an intel platform so you'll need to create your stubs anyway.
Another tool worth checking out is Rational's Test Realtime (http://www.rational.com/products/testrt/index.jsp). This comes with various different tools for code coverage, memory checking, performance profiling, etc. I know it can run on an intel linux system, but not too sure if it supports a PPC target. Why it may be of interest is that it can do automatic stub generation and a lot more helping with unit testing, system testing and a lot more. Again it's fairly axpensive at roughly EUR18k for a floating license.
On the subject of unit test generation you might look at http://www.vectorcast.com
I looked at them a while back. Their package looks strong but at the time they only supported embedded C++ not the full C++ standard which ruled them out for us.
And finally another tool worth looking at is codetest from AMC (http://www.amc.com). It's extrememly expensive but instruments your code to introduce special writes that a hardware probe picks up giving very good performance and memory profiling, code coverage and much more.
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