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Feature #15778

Updated by Eregon (Benoit Daloze) over 1 year ago

Hello, 

 I'm the maintainer of the web-console (https://github.com/rails/web-console/) gem, where one of our features is to jump between the frames in which an error occurred. To accomplish this, I currently use the Debug Inspector CRuby API. I think we should expose this functionality in Rubyland, so tools like web-console don't need to resort to C code for this. This also makes it quite harder for me to support different implementations like JRuby or TruffleRuby as everyone is having a different way to create Ruby Binding objects that represent the frames. 

 Here the API ideas: 

 Add `Thread::Backtrace::Location#binding` method that can create a binding for a specific caller of the current frame. We can reuse the existing `Kernel.caller_locations` method to generate the array of `Thread::Backtrace::Location` objects. We can optionally have the `Kernel.caller_locations(debug: true)` argument if we cannot generate the bindings lazily on the VM that can instruct the VM to do the slower operation. 

 - `Thread::Backtrace::Location#binding` returns `Binding|nil`. Nil result may mean that the current location is a C frame or a JITted/optimized frame and we cannot debug it. 

 We can also expose the DebugInspector API directly, as done in the https://github.com/banister/debug_inspector gem, but for tools like web-console, we'd need to map the bindings with the backtrace, as we cannot generate Bindings for every frame (C frames) and this needs to be done in application code, so I think the `Thread::Backtrace::Location#binding` is the better API for Ruby-land. 

 Such API can help us eventually write most of our debuggers in Ruby as right now we don't have a way to do Post-Mortem debugging without native code or even start our debuggers without monkey-patching `Binding`. 

 I have presented this idea in a RubyKaigi's 2019 talk called "Writing Debuggers in Plain Ruby", you can check-out the slides for more context: http://kaigi-debuggers-in-ruby.herokuapp.com.

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