your favorite debugging tool?

Robert Kern robert.kern at
Tue Aug 25 20:54:10 CEST 2009

On 2009-08-25 09:49 AM, Ben Finney wrote:
> Esmail<ebonak at>  writes:
>> Hi Ben,
>> Ben Finney wrote:
>>> Whenever a simple output statement is too cumbersome for debugging, I
>>> take it as a sign that the program is too cumbersome to follow.
>> I'll have to think about this .. though my gut says this is true :-)
> Note that it's only a sign, *not* an ironclad guarantee. But it's the
> right way to bet, IME.
>> re your other point about the interactive shell, I agree it's useful,
>> but to me still doesn't quite do what a full-fledged debugger can -
>> but perhaps that is a reflection of my skill with the shell at this
>> point.
> This, on the other hand, I find even more consistent: if the code can't
> be effectively inspected from the interactive interpreter, that's a sure
> sign that its external interfaces are poor or its internal dependencies
> too tightly coupled; or more likely both.

And a debugger is a great tool to help you figure out exactly why your code 
doesn't actually have the wonderful decoupling that you thought you designed 
into it so you can fix it. :-)

Robert Kern

"I have come to believe that the whole world is an enigma, a harmless enigma
  that is made terrible by our own mad attempt to interpret it as though it had
  an underlying truth."
   -- Umberto Eco

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