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A Second Chance for WPP Tracing (article + video)

A Second Chance for WPP Tracing (article + video)

As many of you already know, OSR was responsible for introducing WPP Tracing to the world outside Microsoft.  When we saw how it was being used internally at Microsoft, we knew it would be valuable to the driver development community. Fortunately, the powers that be agreed!

But our love affair with WPP Tracing was to be short-lived.  In those early days, compatibility between versions of WPP Tracing wasn’t good.  And OSR and WPP went their separate ways.

But we could never get WPP Tracing totally out of our minds.  The thought of how helpful a low-impact, in-memory tracing package could be would come to us, and we’d wistfully remember WPP Tracing.  And we would wonder: Is it time to go back to WPP Tracing, now that we’ve both grown older and wiser?

OSR’s Scott Noone discusses this:


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Here’s what Scott has to say:

I never thought the day would come, but we at OSR have decided to give Windows PreProcessor Tracing (WPP) one last try. Yes, WPP Tracing, that same technology that over 10 years ago we were advocating for strongly, that we ultimately decided to give the boot because it was just too cumbersome to try to incorporate it into projects.

The backwards compatibility story was really bad, so we ultimately decided to just strip it out of every project we had added it to and go back to the old “crufty” trace package that we had implemented long ago (and that no one was really happy with either). At least we knew how to use that package and we knew (unlike WPP Tracing at the time) that it mostly worked!

The world’s different now than it was 10 years ago. People don’t care about XP or Windows 2000 as much any more. At least OUR customers don’t (so sorry those of you who still have to worry about XP).

WPP Tracing these days is much easier to get going. The tools have come a long way, too. They’re much easier to use. Microsoft has actually made the debugger extensions work for WPP Tracing, as well! Overall we’re having a much better experience with WPP Tracing now than we did all those years ago.

That being said, we still do want to keep a critical eye towards it because we were burdened by using WPP Tracing before. You can be sure that as we incorporate it into more projects here at OSR, we’ll keep you updated with how our experiences are going and any problems that we might have.

In short: We think it’s time for us to give WPP Tracing another try. A “second chance”, as it were.

Article Name
A Second Chance for WPP Tracing
When first introduced, WPP Tracing was less than reliable and didn't work well across different OS versions. In this brief article (with optional video) OSR's Scott Noone describes why we're giving WPP Tracing a second chance.