Introducing Plausible Crash Recovery

April 1, 2014, by Landon Fuller

Update: Check out the post-April Fools Follow-up, which delves deeply into the actual implementation of Plausible Crash Recovery, and where this work could actually see practical use.

Sheer performance and deep insight are essential in a crash reporting solution like PLCrashReporter, but our hardcore team is never satisfied by just pushing the envelope — we’re here to destroy it.

Today, I’m extremely pleased to announce the future of iOS and Mac OS crash reporting: Plausible Crash Recovery™.

Plausible Crash Recovery™ works almost by magic, automatically detecting iOS and Mac application crashes, and resuming execution at the next available statement, ensuring that your users never have to deal with a crashed application again. Why just report crashes when you can prevent them?

Crash Recovery is a bit like a time machine, using PLCrashReporter’s best-in-class async-safe stack unwinding to step backwards from the crashing function, restoring non-volatile register state and returning nil to the original caller — think of it like nil messaging on steroids. It truly has to be seen to be believed:

View in HD

Of course, our engineers weren’t satisfied until Plausible Crash Recovery™ handled more fatal signals than any other crash recovery product on the market. NULL dereference? No problem. CFRelease(NULL)? Piece of cake. Sending an Objective-C message to invalid memory? We’ve got you covered.

Developer Preview – Available Today

We could not be happier to get these improvements into the hands of billions of app developers.

If you want to take Plausible Crash Recovery™ for a spin, we’re making it available to early adopters today. Our April 1st preview release contains both the source code to PLCrashReporter with Plausible Crash Recovery™, as well as iOS and Mac OS X demo applications that you can use to test Plausible Crash Recovery™ immediately.

To use PLCrashReporter with Plausible Crash Recovery™ in your own code, simply link against the provided iOS or Mac OS X PLCrashReporter.framework and enable the crash reporter.

Warning: While PLCrashReporter with Plausible Crash Recovery™ does actually work as advertised, it has seen limited testing, and application developers are cautioned to pay close attention to the release date of this announcement prior to shipping PLCrashReporter with Plausible Crash Recovery™ in an actual product.

We also must give credit to Microsoft Visual Basic’s ground-breaking On Error Resume Next, which directly inspired the implementation of PLCrashReporter with Plausible Crash Recovery™.

Calling all Colorists and Space Cadets: Color/Space Launches Today

January 23, 2014, by Chris Campbell

Here at Plausible Labs, coding often seeps into our dreams. On a cool night in San Francisco last summer, one of our engineers woke up with the vision for Color/Space, a small game for iOS that we’re launching today.

Color/Space takes its players on a fast-paced space mission where they must mix colors to keep planets from escaping a central star’s gravity. Players choose challenges from any of the six levels, from grayscale all the way to the CMYK model. Along the way, users can learn something new about various color models. With each new round, time moves a bit faster and the stakes are raised to keep the planets in orbit.

The game puts players’ speed, imagination, and color theory knowledge to the test while being an interstellar getaway for designers, gamers, and space cadets. Available on the App Store now!

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Crittercism Joins the PLCrashReporter Consortium!

January 22, 2014, by Landon Fuller

Plausible Labs is extremely pleased to announce that Crittercism has joined the PLCrashReporter Consortium, providing significant support for the ongoing open-source development of PLCrashReporter.

Plausible CrashReporter provides an open source in-process crash reporting framework for use on both the iPhone and Mac OS X, used by first-tier commercial crash reporting services like Crittercism.

Ongoing open source development work is sponsored directly by the members of the PLCrashReporter Consortium, as well as by individual application developers through our application developer support services.

Here at Plausible Labs, we’re big believers in the idea that complex development tools — such as compilers, debuggers, and crash reporters — benefit from being developed openly and under a liberal license, as to allow for wide adoption, peer review, and technical validation of the implementation across the widest possible user base. This development model has made PLCrashReporter one of the most reliable, well-architected, and feature-complete crash reporters available for iOS and Mac OS X.

We’ve laid out an ambitious project roadmap for this new year, starting with a few goals that we believe are imperative to growing PLCrashReporter’s utility and value:

  • Increase the scope and depth of useful data gathered in our crash reports, while maintaining our strict user privacy requirements.
  • Expand the user base of the library to ensure the continued health of the project.
  • Work with implementors of managed runtimes (such as Xamarin, Unity3d, RubyMotion, and RoboVM) to improve compatibility between PLCrashReporter and their managed runtime (some of which already use PLCrashReporter).
  • Maintain our focus on reliability by introducing technical solutions to provide even stronger reliability guarantees as the scope and complexity of the library continues to grow.
  • Improve usage and integration documentation, targeted at both 3rd party integrators, and application developers, to help encourage a healthy development ecosystem.

If your platform or application relies on PLCrashReporter, we’re always interested in hearing about your priorities, and your feedback on our roadmap. The support of existing and new sponsors makes an enormous difference in both the scope and scale of what we can produce, and the sponsorship of companies like Crittercism is imperative to the success of the project.