FB opens up debugging tool ‘Sonar’


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To help engineers at Facebook manage the debugging of various parts of large apps, it had introduced ‘Sonar’, an extensible cross-platform debugging tool. Sonar provides a surface where framework experts & developers can convey important information to framework users.

Today, FB announced it was adding functionality & “sharing Sonar as an open source project” to help others accelerate the app development process. With Sonar, engineers have a highly flexible, intuitive way to inspect & understand the structure & behavior of their iOS & Android applications, it said on its official blog. “We believe Sonar improves on current tools by providing a more visual & interactive experience that is extensible to fit engineers’ specific needs.”

This particular initiative started more than 3 years ago with the release of ‘Stetho’, an Android debugging bridge built on Chrome’s developer tools. With Sonar, the FB team build upon what it had learned with Stetho to design a tool that was more extensible to new features, had a richer user experience, & worked across both iOS & Android.

With¬†today’s release of Sonar, we are sharing that work with the open source community. For most use cases going forward, we recommend using Sonar in place of Stetho. When engineers need a specific feature that has not been implemented in Sonar (for example, command-line tools based on dumpers), they can continue to use Stetho.