|Do you know where your variables are?|
Re^2: Greatest programming mistakes and what to learn fromby Stevie-O (Friar)
|on Dec 23, 2004 at 07:00 UTC||Need Help??|
Whenever I'm debugging a problem, and I have no idea what's going wrong, my first instinct is to say: Print out *all* the variables.
Me: "Hey, print the value of X"
Them: "I know what it is. It's 3."
Me: "Print it out anyway."
Them: "Fine." Output: 3
Me: "Good. Now print the value of Y..."
Repeat for many, many variables (incidentally, this often became code that logged gobs of data to a file). Eventually, we'd get to a variable where my coworker thought it was one value, and the variable was another value. "Oh, crap! I see the problem..."
This is especially necessary for languages like C where a runaway pointer or stack overflow can trash a variable from a completely different context.
Fortunately, they're starting to understand my debugging methods now :)