Update on Debugger Perf

Brian Harry

One of the things we got a lot of performance feedback on in Beta 2 was the debugger.  We’ve been working hard on it since Beta 2 and it’s looking much better.  There was no single thing that was a magic bullet that made everything go faster – but rather a whole lot of small things that together have made a huge difference.  Like many of the areas we got feedback on in Beta 2, we decided we were really going to drill on perf on not only make it much better but not stop until it was even clearly better than VS 2008.  I’m very proud to say we’ve accomplished that with the debugger now.

We worked specifically to improve time from F5 to first break point, step over and step into time, time to restore responsiveness after stop debugging, interop debugging, disassembly debugging, thread & Intellitrace window repainting and more.

Using the Blend solution as a test case (we’ve used many but this was a good one to highlight issues), we’ve taken some measurements I’d like to share with you.  First, I asked for a comparison for stepping in the Blend solution (averaged over many steps) compared to VS 2008.  For VS 2008, the time was .72 seconds.  For VS 2010, it is now .52 seconds.  It was several times slower than that at Beta 2.

To demonstrate graphically the improvements since Beta 2, I have a video, thanks to Steve Carroll.  VS 2010 Beta 2 is on the left, VS 2010 (today) is on the right.  They are running through the same stepping scenario in the Blend code base.  No, the fact that the right one stops changing when the left one has barely gotten started is not a bug – it’s the improvement 🙂



We’re still not done yet.  At this point many of the areas (solution load, Virtual Memory usage, debugger, WPF/Silverlight designer) are better than VS 2008.  Others (typing/IntelliSense, some WPF rendering, leaks) have made tremendous progress but aren’t quite where we’d like them yet.  And a few others (startup performance, build performance, and some general UI sluggishness) are still building momentum.

We’re making great progress and I’ll continue to keep you posted as we make headway.  As always, thanks a ton for your engagement and feedback.

P.S. I apologize for the size of the video.  That’s what I got and with all the perf investigations going on, I just didn’t have the time to figure out how to shrink it.



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