Random Perl ... rant

muppet scott at asofyet.org
Sat Apr 5 00:13:52 BST 2008

On Apr 3, 2008, at 10:37 AM, Iain Barnett wrote:
> Again, you could just use notepad to develop, if you are crazy.

If you're going to go for reductio ad absurdum, at least make it  
really absurd.  Notepad is incredibly sophisticated compared to edlin.

>> Debuggers are too tedious to be useful.  Again, I don't think it's a
>> coincidence that most of the best programmers use "print" instead of
>> single-stepping.
> I really can't believe anyone wrote this. That is the slowest and  
> most tedious way to debug there is. Completely innefficient, and a  
> last resort.

As with most things, this depends on the situation, and the world is  
bigger than web+database business apps.

Debuggers lose to logging when (just off the top of my head, from  
recent experience):

a) there are millions of calls involved, and you don't know which one  
it is
b) the remote debugger doesn't actually work on your hardware
c) there are timing issues that the debugger clobbers (e.g. trying to  
trap a race condition, or real-time constraints)

For example, on the stuff i do at $dayjob, we have a rather elaborate  
framework that is, at its core, simply a low-overhead logging  
mechanism for real-time systems.  Yes, it sucks, but that's why the  
framework is elaborate -- conventions and text formatters and  
visualizers...  often, all you need is one look at a time plot of the  
log timestamps and the problem is obvious.

Santa ate all the cookies!
   -- Zella's first, indignant words on Christmas morning, '07.

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