Always have a testable version that's no more than a dozen lines different from the one you're working on. Then you'll know your error is always within the last dozen lines of code you wrote.
I read this and I think "shell script". Do you have a set of tools you use when youre programming? For example, the above procedure could easily be accomplished by something like this:
[ perl -c "$1" ] &&
cp "$1" "`echo $1| sed 's:.pl::g'`.bak.pl" &&
(forgive the shellness of the example, and I havent tested it either) -- but this would ensure that you have a working copy saved, that it is good, and you can continue to develop on the new copy. If you train yourself to pause every 12 lines, or (where i usually break) every new sub, you could save yourself a lot of time. I have a lot of scripts like this, I'm curious if you use anything like that.
And yeah, you did recently post something on debugging, and I remember upvoting it. After looking in the Secret Search I see:
I'm sure i'm missing stuff.
Laziness, Impatience, Hubris, and Generosity.
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