Generating Public Symbols in Software

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In this chapter, we demonstrate how to integrate the symbol file management into a build process in this case, the process used to build the book sample files We start by creating the stripped symbol files, called public symbol files, from the private symbol files We use the binplaceexe utility, installed with the Windows WDK, which also helps us organize the binary files after building them If the additional functionality offered by binplaceexe is not needed, you can use the pdbcopyexe tool provided with the Debugging Tools for Windows to generate the public symbol files
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The following steps are performed from the command prompt shortcut created by the Windows WDK Other tools, such as the debugger tool, are assumed to be present in the path, as required in the listings in the chapter In this chapter, we will reuse the source code and binary for 03sampleexe introduced in the previous chapter Binplaceexe is a powerful tool that is extremely useful for large projects It can run at the end of the build phase to move files into various locations (hence the binplace name) and to process symbol files In this section, we use binplaceexe to place the binary files in a single location and extract the public symbol information from the private symbol, generated by the compiler Binplaceexe uses a processing instruction file, where each line is treated as an instruction stating how to process that file Listing 41 shows the content of the placefiltxt file, used to post process our sample binaries Listing 41
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C:\>type c:\awd\placefiltxt 02sampleexe retail 03sampleexe retail
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4 MANAGING SYMBOL AND SOURCE FILES
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The binplaceexe command is invoked for each binary file, which is passed as a parameter to the command The binary filename is used as a index into the processing instructions file The matching is done by comparing the binary name to the names stored in the first column In our case, we have a line for each EXE or DLL followed by the special retail string that indicates the placement location in the output binary folder To help us understand all the options available, WDK help has a few topics dedicated to the binplaceexe command, describing place file syntax and all commandline options, as well as all environment variables observed by binplaceexe A wealth of information can be found on the MSDN Web site when searching for the binplace string (without the exe extension) As with most command-line tools, binplaceexe behavior is affected by the environment variables few variables being required Other parameters are passed in as command-line arguments In our scenario, the tool depends on the following parameters:
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The target binary location, provided through the environment variable, _NT386TREE, _NTAMD64TREE, or _NTIA64TREE, depending on the platform targeted by the binary files processed with binplaceexe The target folder specified contains all the resulting binary files The placefiletxt location, provided through the environment variable BINPLACE_PLACEFILE, contains the processing instruction for all project files
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4
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The private symbol files target, passed in as an argument for the n commandline switch, represents the location holding the private symbol files The public symbol files target, passed in as an argument for the s command switch, represents the location holding the private symbol files Other command-line switches -a and x tell binplaceexe to remove private symbols from the public symbol file and to remove any symbol from the binary file itself The binary file location we are about to process, passed in as the last parameter
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Listing 42 is taken from the command-line prompt used to set these variables and execute the bin place operation In response, binplaceexe shows the name of a successfully bin placed file Please note that there is no output in case of an error Listing 42
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C:\> set _NT386TREE=C:\AWDBIN\WinXPx86chk C:\> set BINPLACE_PLACEFILE=C:\awd\placefiltxt C:\> binplace -a -x -s %_NT386TREE%\sympub -n %_NT386TREE%\sympri chapter3\objchk_wxp_x86\i386\03sampleexe binplace C:\awd\chapter3\objchk_wxp_x86\i386\03sampleexe
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The binplaceexe utility is called repeatedly for each binary In the end, the target folder contains all binaries, all private symbol files, and all public symbol files The entire process can be automated, as you can see in the releasecmd batch file, installed with the sample files The target folder tree created after this operation looks similar to the one in Listing 43 Listing 43
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C:\AWD>tree c:\AWDBIN\WinXPx86chk /F/A Folder PATH listing Volume serial number is 00310030 B817:38E9 C:\AWDBIN\WinXPX86CHK +--03sampleexe | | +--sympri | \--retail | \--exe | \--03samplepdb \-\--sympub
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