Timeline pane

The Timeline pane in the System Profiler editor provides a detailed view of all elements in the trace, by showing the timing of all events associated with them.

For each event owner, the Timeline pane shows the timing of QNX message passing activity, thread states, and events that occurred, such as interrupts, entries into kernel routines, and more.

Figure 1. The System Profiler's Timeline pane

The Timeline also serves to populate many of the other panes and views within the System Profiler. Several other panes and views repopulate their data based on the selection in the Timeline.

You can click the plus sign (+) next to process names to show individual threads. Clicking the name of a process or thread selects it so you can perform operations on it. Use SHIFTCTRL for multiselect.

The timeline is laid out vertically as a sequence of drawers. Each drawer corresponds to an event owner, and its events are laid out horizontally along a time axis. There are two types of drawers: processes and threads. Threads are grouped under their parent process. The name of the process or thread is displayed above the line showing its events as vertical tick marks. For threads, the line is drawn with colored areas to indicate when state transitions occurred. The following image shows a thread drawer:

Figure 2. A Timeline drawer for a thread

You can zoom the timeline using the toolbar menu actions or shortcut keys. The range shown at the top of the timeline illustrates which portion of the log file is currently displayed, relative to the full file. To zoom in, select the timeline range you want to magnify and the timeline will enlarge accordingly.

The scrollbar above the shaded area allows you to quickly modify which portion of the trace is being displayed. By dragging the scrollbar left or right, you can update the shaded area along with the end points in the header of the Processes and Threads section; this section updates when you release the scrollbar.

In addition, the Timeline can be annotated with details such as Event Labels (described below) and lines indicating IPC activity between threads.

Figure 3. An example of IPC activity between three threads on the Timeline

You can configure the timeline information that's shown in the search result view to show only the interesting trace event fields. The contents of this table can be cut and pasted to the system clipboard as CSV-formatted data.

Using Event labels

The event labels in the Timeline pane show some data and the type for each event. In addition, you can display address translation information such as the function name. Event labels let you quickly distinguish events of different types and display multiple data values for an event, but their main purpose is to annotate function entry and exit events in the Timeline pane with their corresponding function names.

To access the label options, select the Toggle Labels icon in the System Profiler perspective: Icon: Toggle Labels for System Profiler Timeline view

The dialog for selecting event label data is available by clicking the Toggle labels icon and selecting Configuring Event Labels:

Figure 4. Setting event labels in the System Profiler's Timeline view
The data selection list lets you select multiple data keys. It also lets you customize the display pattern for the corresponding label. A default display pattern is provided and consists of the event type, followed by a comma-separated list of data keys. The display pattern supports these replacement patterns:
  • Data keys are specified by using $data_key_name$ and in the Timeline view, they're replaced by the actual value in the event for the given key.
  • To allow labels to span multiple lines, use the \n option.
The event preference page and the property page show the new properties of the labels (select Window > Preferences and then expand QNX > System Profiler and select Timeline Event labels):

Figure 5. Setting preferences for the System Profiler's Timeline view
Once you specify any event labels, the Timeline view shows the display pattern for the label and displays multiple keys.

Figure 6. The System Profiler's Timeline view that includes labels

Adding labels to the Timeline

In the Preferences dialog, click Edit to edit any existing labels, or click Add to select an event type for which a label has already been defined. Any changes you make change the previously defined label, for which you'll receive a notification message.

Note: The IDE performs kernel traces as background tasks. You can monitor the progress of a trace by opening the Progress view.

Renaming processes and threads

Renaming processes and threads allows you to identify threads under a different process because they are often not named. Or, if you record using ring mode, because names are lost, you can assign your own names.

To rename a process or thread, right-click on its name in the Timeline pane and select Rename (or press F2), then type a new name.

Figure 7. Renaming a process or thread in the Timeline

Navigating to events in a timeline

In the Timeline pane, you can navigate to the next or previous event for a specific owner. This feature lets you follow a sequence of events generated by a particular set of owners (e.g., finding the next event owned by a thread, or the messages generated by a client and server).

In locations where single events have been identified (e.g., the Trace Log or Search Results view), you can navigate directly to the event location in the Timeline pane by double-clicking. The selection marker is moved to the event location and if possible, the specific event owner is scrolled into view in the Timeline pane.

The Navigate menu contains a Go To Event command that lets you jump directly to a specific event. This command allows developers to collaborate with one another by providing direct event navigation by event index, event cycle, or natural time.

Figure 8. The System Profiler's Go To Event command