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Senior Project - Pulse


X Window System Protocol Performance Monitor

Senior Project: 1990-1991
Paul Erickson, Stephen Metivier, Brian Minear and James Wilmsen
Federal Systems Division
Boulder, CO

IBM Boulder has interest in the characterization of X Windows applications in terms of the X protocol operations that are being used. The data concerning the relative "cost" of issuing the operations and the number of operations that are called is available through various trace facilities. Due to the large amount of data that these trace facilities typically produce, the time interval over which data can be gathered is usually limited. The objective of this project was to develop a tool that can reduce this trace data "on-the-fly" to enable longer measurement periods, providing the data in a form more amenable to analysis. The tool received data from the trace facilities, filtered out irrelevant information, kept track of statistics on the data that has been accepted, and formatted the statistics and raw data for output to other processes. The tool provided a "control panel, allowing the user to specify the scope of the collection activity, and included the capability for start/stop and pause of data collection. Output from the tool included both graphical display, providing the user with a histogram of operations by frequency, and flat file output suitable for piping into other UNIX filters. The project was implemented in C, using the Motif user interface toolkit, as well as IBM's AIX operating system running on RISC 6000 workstations.

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