How to get Exception.StackTrace line numbers on Windows Phone
Scenario: I've written my app and released it to users. Some of them have reported crashes but I don't know where. So I released an update which captures unhandled exceptions and invites the users to email these to me, in the hope that I can figure out what's wrong.
Problem: On Windows Phone it's not possible to deploy the PDB alongside the EXE/DLL. Without it, Exception.StackTrace is unable to provide line-numbers, and so all my phone error-reports come back without line-numbers and I don't know how to debug.
Solution: I'll write a small helper which adds those line numbers to exception stack-traces, without needing PDBs.
- Download ExceptionStackTrace.zip [3mb, with demo projects in VB and C#, for Windows Phone 8.0]
How it works
Here's a side-by-side comparison of the output.
|PDB-based Exception.StackTrace(the highlighted parts are absent on phone since they depend on PDBs)||Using my helper-library(the highlighted parts are present even on phone)|
|at VB$StateMachine_3_BarAsync.MoveNext() in Class1.vb:line 24--- End of stack trace from previous location where exception was thrown --- at TaskAwaiter.ThrowForNonSuccess(Task task) at TaskAwaiter.HandleNonSuccessAndDebuggerNotification(Task task) at TaskAwaiter.GetResult() at VB$StateMachine_2_FooAsync.MoveNext() in Class1.vb:line 19--- End of stack trace from previous location where exception was thrown --- at TaskAwaiter.ThrowForNonSuccess(Task task) at TaskAwaiter.HandleNonSuccessAndDebuggerNotification(Task task) at TaskAwaiter.GetResult() at VB$StateMachine_1_TestAsync.MoveNext() in Class1.vb:line 14--- End of stack trace from previous location where exception was thrown --- at TaskAwaiter.ThrowForNonSuccess(Task task) at TaskAwaiter.HandleNonSuccessAndDebuggerNotification(Task task) at TaskAwaiter`1.GetResult() at VB$StateMachine_0_Button1_Click.MoveNext() in Class1.vb:line 5||at Test.BarAsync at Test.FooAsync()#BarAsync in Class1.vb:19 at Test.TestAsync()#FooAsync(True) in Class1.vb:14 at Test.Button1_Click() in Class1.vb:5|
I noticed that all the exceptions I ever cared about either arose in async operations in the framework, or in my own async methods. That let me use a fluent syntax, like this: (I've given the examples in C#, to balance out the fact that implementation is in VB...)
private async void Button1_Click(object sender, RoutedEventArgs e)
await TestAsync().Log(); // so exception's stacktrace will show "Button1Click() in MainPage.xaml.cs:53"
catch (Exception ex)
MessageBox.Show(ex.Log()); // this retrieves the version of the stacktrace that includes line numbers
Whenever I await something, I stick on ".Log()" at the end. This ensures that line numbers are preserved for any exception that comes out of the awaited task. And rather than retrieving the Exception.StackTrace property, I retrieve the stack-trace through my Exception.Log() extension method. This cleans up the async callstack into something more readable, and inserts back all those line numbers. I also added two other optional overloads of await-point logging, to get richer information in the exception's async callstack; I use that richer information to (optionally) indicate which API I'm calling, and what arguments I'm passing to it. After all, it's often the arguments to a method that are crucial to understanding why it threw the exception.
await BarAsync(b).Log("BarAsync"); // so the exception stacktrace shows "...#BarAsync in MainPage.xaml.cs:61"
await FooAsync(true).Log("FooAsync", true); // so the exception stacktrace shows "...#FooAsync(true) in MainPage.xaml.cs:72"