VisualAge C++ Tips

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Use the Performance Analyzer

What Is It?

The Performance Analyzer is a marvellous tool for analysing the behaviour and performance of your applications. You create a trace file by running it along with your application, and then you analyse the data by looking at it with the Analyzer's 5 views:

  • Call Nesting Diagram
  • Dynamic Call Graph
  • Execution Density Diagram
  • Statistics Diagram
  • Time Line Diagram

One of the most interesting is the Dynamic Call Graph:

[Screen capture of Performance Analyzer Call Graph]

The nodes (rectangles) represent functions and the arcs (lines) represent calls.

The size, shape, and colour of the nodes gives information about the time spent in each function! Gray, blue, yellow, and red colours are used for functions which use up to 1/8, 1/4, 1/2, and the maximum of the total execution time, respectively. The height of a node depicts the execution time of a function, and the width depicts the active time (the time on the stack, even while a callee is running).

The arcs are similarly coloured to represent the frequency of calls.

How Is It Enabled?

If you're using the Workframe, enabling the Analyzer is as simple as clicking on the Build Smarts button on the toolbar, and selecting the Analyzer checkbox on the dialog that appears:


Figure 2: Build Smarts Dialog Box

Then click on Build to rebuild your application with the Analyzer enabled. To start the Analyzer, choose "Analyze" from the Project menu.

Use the Debug Memory Management Facilities

What are they?

Debugging versions of malloc, calloc, realloc, free, new and delete

What do they offer?
Information about memory you failed to free
Notice that you are freeing already freed memory
Notice that you wrote over freed memory
How do you enable them?
Use the /Tm VisualAge C++ compiler option
Sample Program

Compile this program with /Tm. Run it with the w command line option (no slash) to write over memory which has already been freed. Notice that it catches the error. Run it again with the f command line option and watch it detect your freeing the same object twice.

Compile it again without /Tm and run it the same two ways. The memory management offenses are undetected.

#include <stdlib.h>
#include <string.h>

enum DemoMode
  WriteOverFreed = 'w',
  FreeTwice = 'f'

void main (int argc, char ** argv)
  if (argc == 2)
    char * psz = new char [20];
    strcpy (psz, "String 1");
    _dump_allocated (10);

    switch (argv[1][0])
      case WriteOverFreed:
        delete [] psz;
        strcpy (psz, "String 2");
        _heap_check ();

      case FreeTwice:
        delete [] psz;
        delete [] psz;

Use the IBM Open Class User Interface Library

Using the IBM Open Class User Interface Libraries (UICL, ICLUI) speeds application development. Let's compare some native PM code with the equivalent library code.

Dialog Box HAB hab = WinInitialize (0);

HMQ hmq = WinCreateMsgQueue (hab, 0); HWND hwndDlg = WinDlgBox (HWND_DESKTOP, HWND_DESKTOP, DlgProc, 0, DID_DLG, 0); WinDestroyMsgQueue (hmq); WinTerminate (hab);

SampleDialog sampleDialog;


Disable a Pushbutton WinEnableWindow (WinWindowFromID (hwnd, DID_PRINT), FALSE); buttonPrint->disable();
Access a Profile and Store Data in an MLE PrfQueryProfileData (HINI_USERPROFILE,(PSZ) "PMHPENV", (PSZ) "Address", pabBufAddr, &cbData);

WinSetDlgItemText (hwnd, DID_ADDR, pabBufAddr);

mleAddress->setText (profileEnv->elementWithKey (pszKeyAddr, pszKeyApp));

Use the Open Class User Interface Exceptions

This tip demonstrates 4 handy Open Class macros which help you throw exceptions to report errors.

Sample Program
Running the Program

For best results, run it with the run.cmd contained in the zip file (, 5,279 bytes), and make sure you have pmprintf.exe in the path. You can run it without pmprintf, but if you do, then do not use run.cmd. Instead, type the following commands:

set ICLUI TRACETO=STDERRthrowdem 2>err

When the program starts, choose one of the menu options, and then exit the program and look into the err file.

Source Code Listing

Browser FixedThis program is designed to be self-explanatory.

   UICL Throw Error Macros Demo - Dave Briccetti (, Jan. 1995.
   This tip demonstrates the use of several handy error-reporting macros
   included in the C Set++ User Interface Class Library:

       IASSERTPARM         Check the validity of parameters passed to functions
       IASSERTSTATE        Ensure an object's state is valid for a function call
       ITHROWGUIERROR      Use when PM function fails
       ITHROWSYSTEMERROR   Use when a system function fails   

#include <os2.h>
#include <icmdhdr.hpp>                      // Command handler
#include <iexcept.hpp>                      // Exceptions
#include <iframe.hpp>                       // Frame
#include "idres.h"

class AppCommandHandler : public ICommandHandler    // Command handler for menu
   virtual Boolean command (ICommandEvent & cmdEvent);

void main()                    
   IFrameWindow frame (IDFRAME_MAIN,       // Create frame window with menu
       IFrameWindow::defaultStyle() | IFrameWindow::menuBar);
   AppCommandHandler appCommandHandler;    // Create a command handler and
   appCommandHandler.handleEventsFor (&frame); // assign it to the frame
   frame.setFocus ();                      // Set focus to the frame window ();                          // Show the frame
   IApplication::current().run();          // Run the application

static void CheckParameter (int Parm)       // Function which checks parmeter
    IASSERTPARM (Parm > 0);                 // Throw exception if false

AppCommandHandler :: command (ICommandEvent & cmdEvent)
   static const BOOL           fSystemReady = FALSE;
   static const IWindowHandle  windowHandleBad     = 999;
   static const PVOID          pvBadAddress        = (PVOID) 999;
   try                                     // Catch all the errors we throw
       switch (cmdEvent.commandId())
           case IDM_ASSERTPARM:            // Pass bad parm to function
               CheckParameter (0);        
           case IDM_ASSERTSTATE:           // Check state before proceeding
               IASSERTSTATE (fSystemReady);
           case IDM_GUI:                   // Make a bad PM call
               if (! WinShowWindow (windowHandleBad, TRUE))
                   ITHROWGUIERROR ("WinShowWindow");
           case IDM_CP:                    // Make a bad system call
               const APIRET rc = DosFreeMem (pvBadAddress);
               if (rc != NO_ERROR)
                   ITHROWSYSTEMERROR (rc, "DosFreeMem",
                       IErrorInfo::accessError, IException::recoverable);
   catch (const IException & except) {}   
   return true;