Pernosco Blog

Structured Identifiers

Source-level debuggers devote much interface real estate to program identifiers. To avoid ambiguity we often want to display fully qualified identifiers (e.g. including namespace/module names and the parameters of generic types), but these are often very long and unnecessarily verbose. Pernosco takes advantage of interactivity by eliding selected parts of complex identifiers; clicking on an elided part reveals elided text (which may contain nested elided parts). This requires treating identifiers not as plain strings, but as syntax trees — structured identifiers. This need to obtain structured identifiers has implications for the design and implementation of debuginfo formats and demangling APIs.