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Apple partially rehabilitates Sun's DTrace

Sitting up, but not walking about

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Apple has decided that developers can use Sun Microsystems' DTrace tool to monitor applications under its Mac OS/X operating system after all. Well, sort of.

Sun engineer and co-author of DTrace Adam Leventhal has revealed that a limitation built into the earlier version of Mac OS/X 10.5 that disabled DTrace for certain applications has been "updated" in version 10.5.3.

As we reported earlier, developers reacted angrily when Leventhal first blogged about the problem in January 2008. They accused Apple of deliberately disabling DTrace to prohibit access to media applications such as iTunes, which carries digital rights management (DRM) restrictions.

Despite Apple's change of heart, Leventhal points out that there are still some problems with DTrace under Mac OS/X. For one thing, while DTrace can now flag all applications that are running, some - presumably iTunes et al - still cannot be specifically identified.

Perhaps developers should have attended Apple's Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) in San Francisco, California, this week for more info. There Apple promised delegates would: "Discover secrets behind DTrace that will help you profile and debug your code more effectively, and fine-tune your application's performance by putting your application under the microscope with instruments and Shark."

Well, sort of.®

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