Programming And Debugging

Author: Samuel Williams When: Wednesday, 14 October 2009

My friend Pistos recently pointed me to this quote:

"Debugging is twice as hard as writing a program in the first place. So if you're as clever as you can be when you write it, how will you ever debug it?" - Brian Kernighan

I'm not sure I agree with it but I can understand what he is saying. I don't know if debugging and writing a program are two separate issues... When we write a program, we can write a small complex portion with a clear interface. We can then write tests assertions which ensure that the computer is actually doing what we think we told it to do :) Even if that part is complex, there are techniques and processes that can assist with this.

Sometimes, debugging is complicated, but I don't believe that is a real problem - it simply means the tools we have are not adequate. And with that, GDB 7.0 has recently been released. It has a number of cool new features including scriptability with python and reverse debugging (you can step backwards). I'm looking forward to trying it out.

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