Overview of Character Animator Functions

Note: This topic applies to UNIX environments (remote development) only.

Character Animator uses windows to display information about your program during execution, along with the corresponding part of your source code. Animator provides functions that enable you to control the pace at which your program runs, interrupt execution to examine and change data items, alter the sequence of execution or enter COBOL statements for immediate execution before your program continues. These facilities enable you to debug your programs quickly and easily.

Executing a Program

A flexible set of execution functions enables you to execute the code at the speed to suit the problem you are examining. You can Zoom (execute at maximum speed) through code you do not want to see execute, manually Step through each statement or set a convenient automatic execution speed in a problem area.

You can set breakpoints throughout the source code by marking each statement where you want a break to occur or by defining a condition that should give rise to a break. This lets you define exactly when to get manual control of your program when it is executing automatically.

Querying, Monitoring and Changing Data Items

Debugging a program often involves monitoring various data values in order to detect unexpected results. As the values of the data change during program execution, the monitored items are highlighted as they are updated.

You can query a data item in a program and display its contents in either text (ASCII) or hexadecimal format. The contents of the data item can be changed, with immediate effect in subsequent program execution.

Logic Testing

Do functions enable you to execute additional code without having to interrupt your testing session. These COBOL statements can be executed when you enter them, or they can be associated with a statement and executed with that statement. The latter are saved in a file so that they can be incorporated into your source code once you have decided they correct a problem.

Reset functions enable you to bypass code that you do not want to be executed.