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Python debugging, redefined.

Project description

Cyberbrain: Python debugging, redefined.

support-version PyPI implementation PyPI version "GitHub Discussions" Discord

Cyberbrain is a Python debugging solution aiming to free programmers. It visualizes program execution and how each variable changes.

Never spend hours stepping through a program, let Cyberbrain tell you.


Cyberbrain consists of a Python library and various editor/IDE integrations. Currently it supports VS Code and Gitpod. See our plan on expanding the support.

To install Cyberbrain:

pip install cyberbrain
code --install-extension laike9m.cyberbrain

You can also install from PyPI , VS Code marketplace or Open VSX .

Or, you can try Cyberbrain online: Open in Gitpod

How to Use

Suppose you want to trace a function foo, just decorate it with @trace:

from cyberbrain import trace

@trace  # You can disable tracing with `@trace(disabled=True)`
def foo():

Cyberbrain keeps your workflow unchanged. You run a program (from vscode or command line, both work), call "Initialize Cyberbrain" from the command palette, and a new panel will be opened to visualize how your program executed.

The following gif demonstrates the workflow (click to view the full size image):


Features provided:

  • Dataflow analysis
  • Variable tracing (try hover on any variable, it only highlights relevant variables)
  • Object inspection (value is logged in the opened devtools console)
  • Expect more to come 🤟

Read our documentation to learn more about Cyberbrain's features and limitations.

❗Note on use❗

  • Cyberbrain may conflict with other debuggers. If you set breakpoints and use VSC's debugger, Cyberbrain may not function normally. Generally speaking, prefer "Run Without Debugging" (like shown in the gif).
  • To run Cyberbrain multiple times with different programs, you need to:
    1. Kill the program by Ctrl+C (Cyberbrain will halt your program from exiting).
    2. Run another program.
    3. Run "Initialize Cyberbrain" again.

Status Quo and Milestones

Updated 2020.10

Cyberbrain is new and under active development, bugs are expected. If you met any, I appreciate if you can create an issue. At this point, you should NOT use Cyberbrain in production.

Milestones for the project are listed below, which may change over time. Generally speaking, we'll release 1.0 when it reaches "Production ready".

Milestone Description Status
Examples ready Cyberbrain works on examples (in the examples/ folder) ✔️
Live demo ready Cyberbrain can work with code you write in a live demo, in most cases WIP
Scripts ready Cyberbrain can work with most "scripting" programs Not started
Announcement ready Cyberbrain is ready to be shared on Hacker News and Reddit. Please don't broadcast Cyberbrain before it reaches this milestone. Not started
Production ready Cyberbrain can work with most programs in production Not started

Note that v1.0 means Cyberbrain is stable in the features it supports, it does NOT mean Cyberbrain is feature complete. Major features planned for each future version are listed below. Again, expect it to change at any time.

Version Features
1.0 Code & trace interaction (#7), remote debugging, trace dump
2.0 async support, including generators
3.0 Multi-frame tracing
4.0 Fine-grained symbol tracing
5.0 Multi-threading support

Visit the project's kanban to learn more about the current development schedule.

How does it compare to other tools?

  • PySnooper

    Cyberbrain and PySnooper share the same goal of reducing programmers' work while debugging, with a fundamental difference: Cyberbrain traces and shows the sources of each variable change, while PySnooper only logs them. The differences should be pretty obvious after you tried both.

  • Debug Visualizer

    Debug visualizer and Cyberbrain have different goals. Debug visualizer visualizes data structures, while Cyberbrain visualizes program execution (but also lets you inspect values).


Interested in Contributing?

Get started here.


I'm almost working full time (besides my regular job) on Cyberbrain. This project is huge, complicated and will last for years, however it will reshape how people think and do debugging. That's why I need your support. Let's make it the best Python debugging tool 🤟!

:heart: Sponsor on GitHub

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