Though I think you still have to have debugging information for the main containing binary available even to set pending breakpoints. Which is a little bit of a pity if you just want to debug one module, you have to rebuild with debug symbols desktop module as well as the one you’re interested in.
re unicode support: I added some dbg_dump functions to OOo which should be callable from gdb and gdb should be able to figure out the right one to call for the string class being examined. I’m not sure if this actually works anymore, it did at one stage with one gdb version, and then at another stage it stopped working, so it may have gone stale.
I made a little test-suite of gdb features scripts some years ago which tested some of those types of things, but the test-cases undoubtedly need reworking