My point was that if you want to debug by adding trace output, then you can do that very well with a debugger (and I think you can "add trace" much more efficiently with a debugger -- though adding the trace during development and being able to enable it in production is an even better idea that still doesn't eliminate the usefulness of a good debugger). So I don't understand the argument that you don't use a debugger for debugging because instead you do it by adding trace.
And I do disagree with the undertext that using debuggers means that a programmer isn't being careful up front or that it leads to programmers who aren't careful up front. I find more bugs in other people's code than in mine, even when debugging my own code. I spend a great deal of time figuring out how to work around other people's bugs because I don't have the option of fixing them even though I've found them.
I do wish that other programmers would be more careful (as I talked about previously in (tye)Re: Why, not How). I don't think (as Linus seems to) that taking away debuggers will have any positive effect at all. That would just mean that when bugs crop up (which never happens to tilly nor merlyn because they are careful, despite having seen several of their bugs myself), more time will be spent tracking down that bug so there will be less time for improving other aspects of the software.
I really doubt that it will be possible to remove many bad programmers from the profession (no matter how hard we manage to make programming). A bad programmer with a debugger still wastes plenty of time and has lots of motivation to be more careful. In fact, I've seen use of a debugger help a bad programmer learn how to be a better programmer.
Never attribute to laziness what can be explained by ignorance. I think that most bad behavior that is blamed on laziness (or not being careful) has more to do with ignorance.
[Debuggers] let us blindly trace through code to find the symptoms of problems.
See, you think you know how to use a debugger but that statement tells me that you really don't. I never debug with a debugger by blindly tracing through code. My word, that would be a huge time sink.
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Re (tilly): (tye)Re2: Are debuggers good?
by tilly (Archbishop) on Dec 29, 2000 at 06:41 UTC