debugging.texi   [plain text]

@c -*-texinfo-*-
@c This is part of the GNU Emacs Lisp Reference Manual.
@c Copyright (C) 1990, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1998, 1999, 2001, 2002, 2003,
@c   2004, 2005, 2006, 2007 Free Software Foundation, Inc.
@c See the file elisp.texi for copying conditions.
@setfilename ../info/debugging
@node Debugging, Read and Print, Advising Functions, Top
@chapter Debugging Lisp Programs

  There are three ways to investigate a problem in an Emacs Lisp program,
depending on what you are doing with the program when the problem appears.

@itemize @bullet
If the problem occurs when you run the program, you can use a Lisp
debugger to investigate what is happening during execution.  In addition
to the ordinary debugger, Emacs comes with a source-level debugger,
Edebug.  This chapter describes both of them.

If the problem is syntactic, so that Lisp cannot even read the program,
you can use the Emacs facilities for editing Lisp to localize it.

If the problem occurs when trying to compile the program with the byte
compiler, you need to know how to examine the compiler's input buffer.
@end itemize

* Debugger::            How the Emacs Lisp debugger is implemented.
* Edebug::		A source-level Emacs Lisp debugger.
* Syntax Errors::       How to find syntax errors.
* Test Coverage::       Ensuring you have tested all branches in your code.
* Compilation Errors::  How to find errors that show up in byte compilation.
@end menu

  Another useful debugging tool is the dribble file.  When a dribble
file is open, Emacs copies all keyboard input characters to that file.
Afterward, you can examine the file to find out what input was used.
@xref{Terminal Input}.

  For debugging problems in terminal descriptions, the
@code{open-termscript} function can be useful.  @xref{Terminal Output}.

@node Debugger
@section The Lisp Debugger
@cindex debugger for Emacs Lisp
@cindex Lisp debugger
@cindex break

  The ordinary @dfn{Lisp debugger} provides the ability to suspend
evaluation of a form.  While evaluation is suspended (a state that is
commonly known as a @dfn{break}), you may examine the run time stack,
examine the values of local or global variables, or change those values.
Since a break is a recursive edit, all the usual editing facilities of
Emacs are available; you can even run programs that will enter the
debugger recursively.  @xref{Recursive Editing}.

* Error Debugging::       Entering the debugger when an error happens.
* Infinite Loops::	  Stopping and debugging a program that doesn't exit.
* Function Debugging::    Entering it when a certain function is called.
* Explicit Debug::        Entering it at a certain point in the program.
* Using Debugger::        What the debugger does; what you see while in it.
* Debugger Commands::     Commands used while in the debugger.
* Invoking the Debugger:: How to call the function @code{debug}.
* Internals of Debugger:: Subroutines of the debugger, and global variables.
@end menu

@node Error Debugging
@subsection Entering the Debugger on an Error
@cindex error debugging
@cindex debugging errors

  The most important time to enter the debugger is when a Lisp error
happens.  This allows you to investigate the immediate causes of the

  However, entry to the debugger is not a normal consequence of an
error.  Many commands frequently cause Lisp errors when invoked
inappropriately (such as @kbd{C-f} at the end of the buffer), and during
ordinary editing it would be very inconvenient to enter the debugger
each time this happens.  So if you want errors to enter the debugger, set
the variable @code{debug-on-error} to non-@code{nil}.  (The command
@code{toggle-debug-on-error} provides an easy way to do this.)

@defopt debug-on-error
This variable determines whether the debugger is called when an error is
signaled and not handled.  If @code{debug-on-error} is @code{t}, all
kinds of errors call the debugger (except those listed in
@code{debug-ignored-errors}).  If it is @code{nil}, none call the

The value can also be a list of error conditions that should call the
debugger.  For example, if you set it to the list
@code{(void-variable)}, then only errors about a variable that has no
value invoke the debugger.

When this variable is non-@code{nil}, Emacs does not create an error
handler around process filter functions and sentinels.  Therefore,
errors in these functions also invoke the debugger.  @xref{Processes}.
@end defopt

@defopt debug-ignored-errors
This variable specifies certain kinds of errors that should not enter
the debugger.  Its value is a list of error condition symbols and/or
regular expressions.  If the error has any of those condition symbols,
or if the error message matches any of the regular expressions, then
that error does not enter the debugger, regardless of the value of

The normal value of this variable lists several errors that happen often
during editing but rarely result from bugs in Lisp programs.  However,
``rarely'' is not ``never''; if your program fails with an error that
matches this list, you will need to change this list in order to debug
the error.  The easiest way is usually to set
@code{debug-ignored-errors} to @code{nil}.
@end defopt

@defopt eval-expression-debug-on-error
If this variable has a non-@code{nil} value, then
@code{debug-on-error} is set to @code{t} when evaluating with the
command @code{eval-expression}.  If
@code{eval-expression-debug-on-error} is @code{nil}, then the value of
@code{debug-on-error} is not changed.  @xref{Lisp Eval,, Evaluating
Emacs-Lisp Expressions, emacs, The GNU Emacs Manual}.
@end defopt

@defopt debug-on-signal
Normally, errors that are caught by @code{condition-case} never run the
debugger, even if @code{debug-on-error} is non-@code{nil}.  In other
words, @code{condition-case} gets a chance to handle the error before
the debugger gets a chance.

If you set @code{debug-on-signal} to a non-@code{nil} value, then the
debugger gets the first chance at every error; an error will invoke the
debugger regardless of any @code{condition-case}, if it fits the
criteria specified by the values of @code{debug-on-error} and

@strong{Warning:} This variable is strong medicine!  Various parts of
Emacs handle errors in the normal course of affairs, and you may not
even realize that errors happen there.  If you set
@code{debug-on-signal} to a non-@code{nil} value, those errors will
enter the debugger.

@strong{Warning:} @code{debug-on-signal} has no effect when
@code{debug-on-error} is @code{nil}.
@end defopt

  To debug an error that happens during loading of the init
file, use the option @samp{--debug-init}.  This binds
@code{debug-on-error} to @code{t} while loading the init file, and
bypasses the @code{condition-case} which normally catches errors in the
init file.

  If your init file sets @code{debug-on-error}, the effect may
not last past the end of loading the init file.  (This is an undesirable
byproduct of the code that implements the @samp{--debug-init} command
line option.)  The best way to make the init file set
@code{debug-on-error} permanently is with @code{after-init-hook}, like

(add-hook 'after-init-hook
          (lambda () (setq debug-on-error t)))
@end example

@node Infinite Loops
@subsection Debugging Infinite Loops
@cindex infinite loops
@cindex loops, infinite
@cindex quitting from infinite loop
@cindex stopping an infinite loop

  When a program loops infinitely and fails to return, your first
problem is to stop the loop.  On most operating systems, you can do this
with @kbd{C-g}, which causes a @dfn{quit}.

  Ordinary quitting gives no information about why the program was
looping.  To get more information, you can set the variable
@code{debug-on-quit} to non-@code{nil}.  Quitting with @kbd{C-g} is not
considered an error, and @code{debug-on-error} has no effect on the
handling of @kbd{C-g}.  Likewise, @code{debug-on-quit} has no effect on

  Once you have the debugger running in the middle of the infinite loop,
you can proceed from the debugger using the stepping commands.  If you
step through the entire loop, you will probably get enough information
to solve the problem.

@defopt debug-on-quit
This variable determines whether the debugger is called when @code{quit}
is signaled and not handled.  If @code{debug-on-quit} is non-@code{nil},
then the debugger is called whenever you quit (that is, type @kbd{C-g}).
If @code{debug-on-quit} is @code{nil}, then the debugger is not called
when you quit.  @xref{Quitting}.
@end defopt

@node Function Debugging
@subsection Entering the Debugger on a Function Call
@cindex function call debugging
@cindex debugging specific functions

  To investigate a problem that happens in the middle of a program, one
useful technique is to enter the debugger whenever a certain function is
called.  You can do this to the function in which the problem occurs,
and then step through the function, or you can do this to a function
called shortly before the problem, step quickly over the call to that
function, and then step through its caller.

@deffn Command debug-on-entry function-name
This function requests @var{function-name} to invoke the debugger each
time it is called.  It works by inserting the form
@code{(implement-debug-on-entry)} into the function definition as the
first form.

Any function or macro defined as Lisp code may be set to break on
entry, regardless of whether it is interpreted code or compiled code.
If the function is a command, it will enter the debugger when called
from Lisp and when called interactively (after the reading of the
arguments).  You can also set debug-on-entry for primitive functions
(i.e., those written in C) this way, but it only takes effect when the
primitive is called from Lisp code.  Debug-on-entry is not allowed for
special forms.

When @code{debug-on-entry} is called interactively, it prompts for
@var{function-name} in the minibuffer.  If the function is already set
up to invoke the debugger on entry, @code{debug-on-entry} does nothing.
@code{debug-on-entry} always returns @var{function-name}.

@strong{Warning:} if you redefine a function after using
@code{debug-on-entry} on it, the code to enter the debugger is
discarded by the redefinition.  In effect, redefining the function
cancels the break-on-entry feature for that function.

Here's an example to illustrate use of this function:

(defun fact (n)
  (if (zerop n) 1
      (* n (fact (1- n)))))
     @result{} fact
@end group
(debug-on-entry 'fact)
     @result{} fact
@end group
(fact 3)
@end group

------ Buffer: *Backtrace* ------
Debugger entered--entering a function:
* fact(3)
  eval((fact 3))
------ Buffer: *Backtrace* ------
@end group

(symbol-function 'fact)
     @result{} (lambda (n)
          (debug (quote debug))
          (if (zerop n) 1 (* n (fact (1- n)))))
@end group
@end example
@end deffn

@deffn Command cancel-debug-on-entry &optional function-name
This function undoes the effect of @code{debug-on-entry} on
@var{function-name}.  When called interactively, it prompts for
@var{function-name} in the minibuffer.  If @var{function-name} is
omitted or @code{nil}, it cancels break-on-entry for all functions.
Calling @code{cancel-debug-on-entry} does nothing to a function which is
not currently set up to break on entry.
@end deffn

@node Explicit Debug
@subsection Explicit Entry to the Debugger

  You can cause the debugger to be called at a certain point in your
program by writing the expression @code{(debug)} at that point.  To do
this, visit the source file, insert the text @samp{(debug)} at the
proper place, and type @kbd{C-M-x} (@code{eval-defun}, a Lisp mode key
binding).  @strong{Warning:} if you do this for temporary debugging
purposes, be sure to undo this insertion before you save the file!

  The place where you insert @samp{(debug)} must be a place where an
additional form can be evaluated and its value ignored.  (If the value
of @code{(debug)} isn't ignored, it will alter the execution of the
program!)  The most common suitable places are inside a @code{progn} or
an implicit @code{progn} (@pxref{Sequencing}).

@node Using Debugger
@subsection Using the Debugger

  When the debugger is entered, it displays the previously selected
buffer in one window and a buffer named @samp{*Backtrace*} in another
window.  The backtrace buffer contains one line for each level of Lisp
function execution currently going on.  At the beginning of this buffer
is a message describing the reason that the debugger was invoked (such
as the error message and associated data, if it was invoked due to an

  The backtrace buffer is read-only and uses a special major mode,
Debugger mode, in which letters are defined as debugger commands.  The
usual Emacs editing commands are available; thus, you can switch windows
to examine the buffer that was being edited at the time of the error,
switch buffers, visit files, or do any other sort of editing.  However,
the debugger is a recursive editing level (@pxref{Recursive Editing})
and it is wise to go back to the backtrace buffer and exit the debugger
(with the @kbd{q} command) when you are finished with it.  Exiting
the debugger gets out of the recursive edit and kills the backtrace

@cindex current stack frame
  The backtrace buffer shows you the functions that are executing and
their argument values.  It also allows you to specify a stack frame by
moving point to the line describing that frame.  (A stack frame is the
place where the Lisp interpreter records information about a particular
invocation of a function.)  The frame whose line point is on is
considered the @dfn{current frame}.  Some of the debugger commands
operate on the current frame.  If a line starts with a star, that means
that exiting that frame will call the debugger again.  This is useful
for examining the return value of a function.

  If a function name is underlined, that means the debugger knows
where its source code is located.  You can click @kbd{Mouse-2} on that
name, or move to it and type @key{RET}, to visit the source code.

  The debugger itself must be run byte-compiled, since it makes
assumptions about how many stack frames are used for the debugger
itself.  These assumptions are false if the debugger is running

@node Debugger Commands
@subsection Debugger Commands
@cindex debugger command list

  The debugger buffer (in Debugger mode) provides special commands in
addition to the usual Emacs commands.  The most important use of
debugger commands is for stepping through code, so that you can see
how control flows.  The debugger can step through the control
structures of an interpreted function, but cannot do so in a
byte-compiled function.  If you would like to step through a
byte-compiled function, replace it with an interpreted definition of
the same function.  (To do this, visit the source for the function and
type @kbd{C-M-x} on its definition.)  You cannot use the Lisp debugger
to step through a primitive function.

  Here is a list of Debugger mode commands:

@table @kbd
@item c
Exit the debugger and continue execution.  When continuing is possible,
it resumes execution of the program as if the debugger had never been
entered (aside from any side-effects that you caused by changing
variable values or data structures while inside the debugger).

Continuing is possible after entry to the debugger due to function entry
or exit, explicit invocation, or quitting.  You cannot continue if the
debugger was entered because of an error.

@item d
Continue execution, but enter the debugger the next time any Lisp
function is called.  This allows you to step through the
subexpressions of an expression, seeing what values the subexpressions
compute, and what else they do.

The stack frame made for the function call which enters the debugger in
this way will be flagged automatically so that the debugger will be
called again when the frame is exited.  You can use the @kbd{u} command
to cancel this flag.

@item b
Flag the current frame so that the debugger will be entered when the
frame is exited.  Frames flagged in this way are marked with stars
in the backtrace buffer.

@item u
Don't enter the debugger when the current frame is exited.  This
cancels a @kbd{b} command on that frame.  The visible effect is to
remove the star from the line in the backtrace buffer.

@item j
Flag the current frame like @kbd{b}.  Then continue execution like
@kbd{c}, but temporarily disable break-on-entry for all functions that
are set up to do so by @code{debug-on-entry}.

@item e
Read a Lisp expression in the minibuffer, evaluate it, and print the
value in the echo area.  The debugger alters certain important
variables, and the current buffer, as part of its operation; @kbd{e}
temporarily restores their values from outside the debugger, so you can
examine and change them.  This makes the debugger more transparent.  By
contrast, @kbd{M-:} does nothing special in the debugger; it shows you
the variable values within the debugger.

@item R
Like @kbd{e}, but also save the result of evaluation in the
buffer @samp{*Debugger-record*}.

@item q
Terminate the program being debugged; return to top-level Emacs
command execution.

If the debugger was entered due to a @kbd{C-g} but you really want
to quit, and not debug, use the @kbd{q} command.

@item r
Return a value from the debugger.  The value is computed by reading an
expression with the minibuffer and evaluating it.

The @kbd{r} command is useful when the debugger was invoked due to exit
from a Lisp call frame (as requested with @kbd{b} or by entering the
frame with @kbd{d}); then the value specified in the @kbd{r} command is
used as the value of that frame.  It is also useful if you call
@code{debug} and use its return value.  Otherwise, @kbd{r} has the same
effect as @kbd{c}, and the specified return value does not matter.

You can't use @kbd{r} when the debugger was entered due to an error.

@item l
Display a list of functions that will invoke the debugger when called.
This is a list of functions that are set to break on entry by means of
@code{debug-on-entry}.  @strong{Warning:} if you redefine such a
function and thus cancel the effect of @code{debug-on-entry}, it may
erroneously show up in this list.
@end table

@node Invoking the Debugger
@subsection Invoking the Debugger

  Here we describe in full detail the function @code{debug} that is used
to invoke the debugger.

@defun debug &rest debugger-args
This function enters the debugger.  It switches buffers to a buffer
named @samp{*Backtrace*} (or @samp{*Backtrace*<2>} if it is the second
recursive entry to the debugger, etc.), and fills it with information
about the stack of Lisp function calls.  It then enters a recursive
edit, showing the backtrace buffer in Debugger mode.

The Debugger mode @kbd{c}, @kbd{d}, @kbd{j}, and @kbd{r} commands exit
the recursive edit; then @code{debug} switches back to the previous
buffer and returns to whatever called @code{debug}.  This is the only
way the function @code{debug} can return to its caller.

The use of the @var{debugger-args} is that @code{debug} displays the
rest of its arguments at the top of the @samp{*Backtrace*} buffer, so
that the user can see them.  Except as described below, this is the
@emph{only} way these arguments are used.

However, certain values for first argument to @code{debug} have a
special significance.  (Normally, these values are used only by the
internals of Emacs, and not by programmers calling @code{debug}.)  Here
is a table of these special values:

@table @code
@item lambda
@cindex @code{lambda} in debug
A first argument of @code{lambda} means @code{debug} was called
because of entry to a function when @code{debug-on-next-call} was
non-@code{nil}.  The debugger displays @samp{Debugger
entered--entering a function:} as a line of text at the top of the

@item debug
@code{debug} as first argument means @code{debug} was called because
of entry to a function that was set to debug on entry.  The debugger
displays the string @samp{Debugger entered--entering a function:},
just as in the @code{lambda} case.  It also marks the stack frame for
that function so that it will invoke the debugger when exited.

@item t
When the first argument is @code{t}, this indicates a call to
@code{debug} due to evaluation of a function call form when
@code{debug-on-next-call} is non-@code{nil}.  The debugger displays
@samp{Debugger entered--beginning evaluation of function call form:}
as the top line in the buffer.

@item exit
When the first argument is @code{exit}, it indicates the exit of a
stack frame previously marked to invoke the debugger on exit.  The
second argument given to @code{debug} in this case is the value being
returned from the frame.  The debugger displays @samp{Debugger
entered--returning value:} in the top line of the buffer, followed by
the value being returned.

@item error
@cindex @code{error} in debug
When the first argument is @code{error}, the debugger indicates that
it is being entered because an error or @code{quit} was signaled and
not handled, by displaying @samp{Debugger entered--Lisp error:}
followed by the error signaled and any arguments to @code{signal}.
For example,

(let ((debug-on-error t))
  (/ 1 0))
@end group

------ Buffer: *Backtrace* ------
Debugger entered--Lisp error: (arith-error)
  /(1 0)
------ Buffer: *Backtrace* ------
@end group
@end example

If an error was signaled, presumably the variable
@code{debug-on-error} is non-@code{nil}.  If @code{quit} was signaled,
then presumably the variable @code{debug-on-quit} is non-@code{nil}.

@item nil
Use @code{nil} as the first of the @var{debugger-args} when you want
to enter the debugger explicitly.  The rest of the @var{debugger-args}
are printed on the top line of the buffer.  You can use this feature to
display messages---for example, to remind yourself of the conditions
under which @code{debug} is called.
@end table
@end defun

@node Internals of Debugger
@subsection Internals of the Debugger

  This section describes functions and variables used internally by the

@defvar debugger
The value of this variable is the function to call to invoke the
debugger.  Its value must be a function of any number of arguments, or,
more typically, the name of a function.  This function should invoke
some kind of debugger.  The default value of the variable is

The first argument that Lisp hands to the function indicates why it
was called.  The convention for arguments is detailed in the description
of @code{debug} (@pxref{Invoking the Debugger}).
@end defvar

@deffn Command backtrace
@cindex run time stack
@cindex call stack
This function prints a trace of Lisp function calls currently active.
This is the function used by @code{debug} to fill up the
@samp{*Backtrace*} buffer.  It is written in C, since it must have access
to the stack to determine which function calls are active.  The return
value is always @code{nil}.

In the following example, a Lisp expression calls @code{backtrace}
explicitly.  This prints the backtrace to the stream
@code{standard-output}, which, in this case, is the buffer

Each line of the backtrace represents one function call.  The line shows
the values of the function's arguments if they are all known; if they
are still being computed, the line says so.  The arguments of special
forms are elided.

(with-output-to-temp-buffer "backtrace-output"
  (let ((var 1))
      (setq var (eval '(progn
                         (1+ var)
                         (list 'testing (backtrace))))))))

     @result{} (testing nil)
@end group

----------- Buffer: backtrace-output ------------
  (list ...computing arguments...)
@end group
  (progn ...)
  eval((progn (1+ var) (list (quote testing) (backtrace))))
  (setq ...)
  (save-excursion ...)
  (let ...)
  (with-output-to-temp-buffer ...)
  eval((with-output-to-temp-buffer ...))
----------- Buffer: backtrace-output ------------
@end group
@end smallexample
@end deffn

@ignore @c Not worth mentioning
@defopt stack-trace-on-error
@cindex stack trace
This variable controls whether Lisp automatically displays a
backtrace buffer after every error that is not handled.  A quit signal
counts as an error for this variable.  If it is non-@code{nil} then a
backtrace is shown in a pop-up buffer named @samp{*Backtrace*} on every
error.  If it is @code{nil}, then a backtrace is not shown.

When a backtrace is shown, that buffer is not selected.  If either
@code{debug-on-quit} or @code{debug-on-error} is also non-@code{nil}, then
a backtrace is shown in one buffer, and the debugger is popped up in
another buffer with its own backtrace.

We consider this feature to be obsolete and superseded by the debugger
@end defopt
@end ignore

@defvar debug-on-next-call
@cindex @code{eval}, and debugging
@cindex @code{apply}, and debugging
@cindex @code{funcall}, and debugging
If this variable is non-@code{nil}, it says to call the debugger before
the next @code{eval}, @code{apply} or @code{funcall}.  Entering the
debugger sets @code{debug-on-next-call} to @code{nil}.

The @kbd{d} command in the debugger works by setting this variable.
@end defvar

@defun backtrace-debug level flag
This function sets the debug-on-exit flag of the stack frame @var{level}
levels down the stack, giving it the value @var{flag}.  If @var{flag} is
non-@code{nil}, this will cause the debugger to be entered when that
frame later exits.  Even a nonlocal exit through that frame will enter
the debugger.

This function is used only by the debugger.
@end defun

@defvar command-debug-status
This variable records the debugging status of the current interactive
command.  Each time a command is called interactively, this variable is
bound to @code{nil}.  The debugger can set this variable to leave
information for future debugger invocations during the same command

The advantage of using this variable rather than an ordinary global
variable is that the data will never carry over to a subsequent command
@end defvar

@defun backtrace-frame frame-number
The function @code{backtrace-frame} is intended for use in Lisp
debuggers.  It returns information about what computation is happening
in the stack frame @var{frame-number} levels down.

If that frame has not evaluated the arguments yet, or is a special
form, the value is @code{(nil @var{function} @var{arg-forms}@dots{})}.

If that frame has evaluated its arguments and called its function
already, the return value is @code{(t @var{function}

In the return value, @var{function} is whatever was supplied as the
@sc{car} of the evaluated list, or a @code{lambda} expression in the
case of a macro call.  If the function has a @code{&rest} argument, that
is represented as the tail of the list @var{arg-values}.

If @var{frame-number} is out of range, @code{backtrace-frame} returns
@end defun

@include edebug.texi

@node Syntax Errors
@section Debugging Invalid Lisp Syntax
@cindex debugging invalid Lisp syntax

  The Lisp reader reports invalid syntax, but cannot say where the real
problem is.  For example, the error ``End of file during parsing'' in
evaluating an expression indicates an excess of open parentheses (or
square brackets).  The reader detects this imbalance at the end of the
file, but it cannot figure out where the close parenthesis should have
been.  Likewise, ``Invalid read syntax: ")"'' indicates an excess close
parenthesis or missing open parenthesis, but does not say where the
missing parenthesis belongs.  How, then, to find what to change?

  If the problem is not simply an imbalance of parentheses, a useful
technique is to try @kbd{C-M-e} at the beginning of each defun, and see
if it goes to the place where that defun appears to end.  If it does
not, there is a problem in that defun.

@cindex unbalanced parentheses
@cindex parenthesis mismatch, debugging
  However, unmatched parentheses are the most common syntax errors in
Lisp, and we can give further advice for those cases.  (In addition,
just moving point through the code with Show Paren mode enabled might
find the mismatch.)

* Excess Open::     How to find a spurious open paren or missing close.
* Excess Close::    How to find a spurious close paren or missing open.
@end menu

@node Excess Open
@subsection Excess Open Parentheses

  The first step is to find the defun that is unbalanced.  If there is
an excess open parenthesis, the way to do this is to go to the end of
the file and type @kbd{C-u C-M-u}.  This will move you to the
beginning of the first defun that is unbalanced.

  The next step is to determine precisely what is wrong.  There is no
way to be sure of this except by studying the program, but often the
existing indentation is a clue to where the parentheses should have
been.  The easiest way to use this clue is to reindent with @kbd{C-M-q}
and see what moves.  @strong{But don't do this yet!}  Keep reading,

  Before you do this, make sure the defun has enough close parentheses.
Otherwise, @kbd{C-M-q} will get an error, or will reindent all the rest
of the file until the end.  So move to the end of the defun and insert a
close parenthesis there.  Don't use @kbd{C-M-e} to move there, since
that too will fail to work until the defun is balanced.

  Now you can go to the beginning of the defun and type @kbd{C-M-q}.
Usually all the lines from a certain point to the end of the function
will shift to the right.  There is probably a missing close parenthesis,
or a superfluous open parenthesis, near that point.  (However, don't
assume this is true; study the code to make sure.)  Once you have found
the discrepancy, undo the @kbd{C-M-q} with @kbd{C-_}, since the old
indentation is probably appropriate to the intended parentheses.

  After you think you have fixed the problem, use @kbd{C-M-q} again.  If
the old indentation actually fit the intended nesting of parentheses,
and you have put back those parentheses, @kbd{C-M-q} should not change

@node Excess Close
@subsection Excess Close Parentheses

  To deal with an excess close parenthesis, first go to the beginning
of the file, then type @kbd{C-u -1 C-M-u} to find the end of the first
unbalanced defun.

  Then find the actual matching close parenthesis by typing @kbd{C-M-f}
at the beginning of that defun.  This will leave you somewhere short of
the place where the defun ought to end.  It is possible that you will
find a spurious close parenthesis in that vicinity.

  If you don't see a problem at that point, the next thing to do is to
type @kbd{C-M-q} at the beginning of the defun.  A range of lines will
probably shift left; if so, the missing open parenthesis or spurious
close parenthesis is probably near the first of those lines.  (However,
don't assume this is true; study the code to make sure.)  Once you have
found the discrepancy, undo the @kbd{C-M-q} with @kbd{C-_}, since the
old indentation is probably appropriate to the intended parentheses.

  After you think you have fixed the problem, use @kbd{C-M-q} again.  If
the old indentation actually fits the intended nesting of parentheses,
and you have put back those parentheses, @kbd{C-M-q} should not change

@node Test Coverage
@section Test Coverage
@cindex coverage testing

@findex testcover-start
@findex testcover-mark-all
@findex testcover-next-mark
  You can do coverage testing for a file of Lisp code by loading the
@code{testcover} library and using the command @kbd{M-x
testcover-start @key{RET} @var{file} @key{RET}} to instrument the
code.  Then test your code by calling it one or more times.  Then use
the command @kbd{M-x testcover-mark-all} to display colored highlights
on the code to show where coverage is insufficient.  The command
@kbd{M-x testcover-next-mark} will move point forward to the next
highlighted spot.

  Normally, a red highlight indicates the form was never completely
evaluated; a brown highlight means it always evaluated to the same
value (meaning there has been little testing of what is done with the
result).  However, the red highlight is skipped for forms that can't
possibly complete their evaluation, such as @code{error}.  The brown
highlight is skipped for forms that are expected to always evaluate to
the same value, such as @code{(setq x 14)}.

  For difficult cases, you can add do-nothing macros to your code to
give advice to the test coverage tool.

@defmac 1value form
Evaluate @var{form} and return its value, but inform coverage testing
that @var{form}'s value should always be the same.
@end defmac

@defmac noreturn form
Evaluate @var{form}, informing coverage testing that @var{form} should
never return.  If it ever does return, you get a run-time error.
@end defmac

  Edebug also has a coverage testing feature (@pxref{Coverage
Testing}).  These features partly duplicate each other, and it would
be cleaner to combine them.

@node Compilation Errors
@section Debugging Problems in Compilation
@cindex debugging byte compilation problems

  When an error happens during byte compilation, it is normally due to
invalid syntax in the program you are compiling.  The compiler prints a
suitable error message in the @samp{*Compile-Log*} buffer, and then
stops.  The message may state a function name in which the error was
found, or it may not.  Either way, here is how to find out where in the
file the error occurred.

  What you should do is switch to the buffer @w{@samp{ *Compiler Input*}}.
(Note that the buffer name starts with a space, so it does not show
up in @kbd{M-x list-buffers}.)  This buffer contains the program being
compiled, and point shows how far the byte compiler was able to read.

  If the error was due to invalid Lisp syntax, point shows exactly where
the invalid syntax was @emph{detected}.  The cause of the error is not
necessarily near by!  Use the techniques in the previous section to find
the error.

  If the error was detected while compiling a form that had been read
successfully, then point is located at the end of the form.  In this
case, this technique can't localize the error precisely, but can still
show you which function to check.

   arch-tag: ddc57378-b0e6-4195-b7b6-43f8777395a7
@end ignore