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I wouldn't think to post something so blindingly obvious, but I saw two different experienced developers get bit by this in the last month.
When I put a print in to debug something I always put a delimiter (usually parentheses) around any variable I print out. It makes it clear when there are extra whitespace or newlines around your value.
In both case, the programmers were doing string comparisons against data coming from a file. In both cases there were extra spaces at the ends of lines. In both cases the attempt at debugging was to put  print "$str\n" into the program.
When I suggested that they put parentheses around the variable name, they were instantly enlightened.
I developed this habit a long time ago. As Aristotle said, "Good habits formed at youth make all the difference."
For all of you saying, "well, duh" right now, I apologize for stating the obvious. If it hadn't come up twice in the last month I would never have thought to post it.


-pete
"Worry is like a rocking chair. It gives you something to do, but it doesn't get you anywhere."

In reply to Unbelievably Obvious Debugging Tip by dreadpiratepeter

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    [shmem]: well finally.
    [stevieb]: nice! I just finished a GPS "take me home" device last week, and did a bunch of software updates to it yesterday. I also created a pseudo chip with an Arduino to simulate an IC, where it responds to register read/writes over the I2C bus...
    [stevieb]: ...from an I2C master. It's ugly and there are many changes I'm going to make, but I had not done anything like it before. It's designed for my RPi:: automated test platform; a system that does CI on *all* my RPi modules.
    [shmem]: pseudo chip?
    [stevieb]: well, what happens is the Arduino 'listens' for requests r/w, and does the appropriate thing when it's interrupted based on the 'register' address sent in. It's ugly as it was my first attempt, but I've got great new ideas I'm just sitting.
    [stevieb]: ...down to implement now. Here's the sketch as it currently sits
    [shmem]: well I use I2C and SPI and stuff, but creating a pseudo chip looks to me like lot of indirection and memory clutter... not?
    [choroba]: Are you going to use the device soon? Related to your comment about "not having much time to do a lot of coding"...
    [stevieb]: sure, but I'm just learning ;) I consider it practice to get a good understanding of what goes on *after* an I2C/SPI request is made
    [shmem]: ah ok. Gonna read that. but now....

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