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Android Development
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Creating Trace Files

To use Traceview, you need to generate log files containing the trace information you want to analyze. To do that, you include the Debug class in your code and call its methods to start and stop logging of trace information to disk. When your application quits, you can then use Traceview to examine the log files for useful run-time information such as method calls and run times.

To create the trace files, include the Debug class and call one of the startMethodTracing() methods. In the call, you specify a base name for the trace files that the system generates. To stop tracing, call stopMethodTracing(). These methods start and stop method tracing across the entire virtual machine. For example, you could call startMethodTracing() in your activity's onCreate() method, and call stopMethodTracing() in that activity's onDestroy() method.

    // start tracing to "/sdcard/calc.trace"
    // ...
    // stop tracing

When your application calls startMethodTracing(), the system creates a file called <trace-base-name>.trace. This contains the binary method trace data and a mapping table with thread and method names.

The system then begins buffering the generated trace data, until your application calls stopMethodTracing(), at which time it writes the buffered data to the output file. If the system reaches the maximum buffer size before stopMethodTracing() is called, the system stops tracing and sends a notification to the console.

Interpreted code will run more slowly when profiling is enabled. Don't try to generate absolute timings from the profiler results (i.e. "function X takes 2.5 seconds to run"). The times are only useful in relation to other profile output, so you can see if changes have made the code faster or slower.

When using the Android emulator, you must create an SD card image upon which the trace files will be written. For example, from the /tools directory, you can create an SD card image named "imgcd" and mount it when launching the emulator like so:

$ mksdcard 1024M ./imgcd
$ emulator -sdcard ./imgcd

For more information, read about the mksdcard tool.

The format of the trace files is described later in this document.

Android Development
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