Microsoft is accompanying the final version of Windows XP SP3
with additional resources aimed to complement the release. Case in point: the Symbols Package for Windows XP Service Pack 3, containing items made available in order to provide developers with the tools necessary to perform debugging actions on the third and last service pack for XP. At this point in time, there are no less than four packages accessible to end users, with both the symbols
and DEBUG-symbols packs and their updates.
"These are debug symbol files that cover the files modified by Windows XP Service Pack 3. Standard requirements for symbols packages in previous releases of Windows XP apply. Select either the "Full" package to get all symbols, including those for Service Pack 3. or, select "Update" package, to get only symbols that apply to files changed by Service Pack 3. Symbols for both retail and checked builds are available," Microsoft explained.
As early as May 6, the day when Microsoft released Windows XP SP3 RTM via Windows Update and the Download Center, one of the versions of the service pack was provided, tailored specifically to the needs of developers. The Checked Build of XP SP3 RTM is set up to streamline the development and debugging of software built on the operating system complete with the latest service pack. In fact, Microsoft has revealed that the Checked Build of XP SP3 RTM
features the debugging symbols designed for the Service Pack 3 binaries.
"You must have symbol information when you debug applications with various Microsoft tools. Symbol files provide a footprint of the functions that are contained in executable files and dynamic-link libraries (DLLs). Additionally, symbol files can present a roadmap of the function calls that lead to the point of failure. For example, you must have the symbols when you dump call stacks inside a debugger," Microsoft revealed.
Symbols Package for Windows XP Service Pack 3 is available for download here