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Debugging and profiling techniques

by Giovanni Bajo for EuroPython 2011

This talk will give on overview over some common problems related to profiling and debugging CPython applications (especially desktop-based ones).

The following subjects will be covered:

  • Debugging of memory/resource leaks (circular references, del, weakref, garbage collector, etc.). We will show in details how the memory management of Python objects work and we will show a few tricks to track memory leaks
  • Python code profiling (profile/hotshots/cProfile, design of small tests, etc.). We will show how to measure, profile, and analyse an application to spot performance problems and solve them.
  • Post-mortem step-by-step debugging of C/C++ extension under Windows. We will show how to setup Visual Studio for debugging, how to see a traceback in case of an unexpected segfault, and how to further debug and solve the crash.

This talk is aimed at intermediate Python programmers, who have already developed non-trivial Python applications but have never “jumped through” the interpreter abstraction layer. If you feel a little lost when you see a segfault from a Python program or you don’t have a clear idea how memory is collected in Python, this talk is perfect for you.



  1. Gravatar
    Your talk slides could be quite useful for our Summer of Code student currently working on finding some moin memory leaks.

    Can you put them somewhere and link them from here?


    Thomas Waldmann
    MoinMoin Wiki
  2. Gravatar
    Uploaded. I cannot find right now the very last version that I refined at the conference, but this is 99% close to the one I actually used.

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90 minutes (inc Q&A)
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