(Can’t) automatically show the return value in the Eclipse debugger

When I’m using the Eclipse debugger, I’d sometimes like to see the return value of a method, or the contents of a thrown exception.  I can do this by selecting the expression that is about to be returned and pressing Ctrl+Shift+D (“Display”), which evaluates the expression… but this is difficult with exceptions and sometimes there are side-effects that make you not want to cause the code to be evaluated an extra time.

I wish there were a way to configure the Eclipse debugger to automatically show the return value (perhaps in the Expressions view, or maybe in the Variables view).  This appears to be a missing feature at the moment.

Here’s someone asking the same question on stackoverflow.com… and someone else asking on the old Sun Debugging Tools and Techniques forum in 2006.

Eclipse bug #40912 has been logged for this issue, but it seems to be languishing with a resolution of “LATER” since 2007 (I just added my vote, though!)

I remember this functionality being helpful when I was using Visual Studio (VS 2002, maybe?)  a few years ago.


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