Debugging Cocoa: Solutions

Hey iDevBlogADay,

two weeks ago I asked the community for Spy++-like debugging tools for Cocoa. Your replies have been awesome, and I’d like to summarize everything in this post:

  • UIViews have a built-in tool to print the view hierarchy, [UIView recursiveDescription]. It’s private, so don’t submit the binary to the Appstore(!), but it should work. There is some info here and here
  • There is f-script, but it’s apparently not for iOS. Still good to play around and investigate Cocoa. A lot of people recommended this, seems like the holy grail for MacOS Cocoa debugging.
  • Nimbus is an interactive little tool that effectively puts a dashboard on top of your app. It may not work great for games, but seems like a cool think to check out.
  • ViewHierarchy is again only available for MacOS, but nevertheless a handy tool. I think something like ViewHierarchy that works remotely with iOS would be great.
  • DCIntrospect is an iOS tool that can help you find issues with your iPhone Cocoa views, and it does some automatic checking which would be nice (like detecting non-integral coordinates). This was recommended by quite a few people.
I’d like to thank everyone on the comment thread for the great feedback!
Despite all this feedback, there still seems to be space for a tool that can remotely inspect the entire view hierarchy, all kv-pairs/properties. Maybe one day… 🙂

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