Category Archives: Debugging

Debugging fun

I had some fun with the Visual Studio debugger today, and actually learnt a few new tricks (even though I’m aware this may be an old hat to some ;-)

The problem: I had an object which contained an invalid pointer, and crashed the application. Ups. I could see that the object started out fine, but somewhere along the way said pointer was modified to point to nowhere. I had no idea where the pointer was modified, however.

So what I really wanted to do was my program to break whenever that pointer was touched.

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Fail gently

A recent blog entry by Psycho brought an article about “fail fast” to my attention. The article is sponsored by Martin Fowler (i.e. the King of Refactoring ™). The author is a consultant who “helps software teams work more efficiently”. (Did you ever notice that consultants always seem to have this kind of standard tag line?)

In any case, the article introduces the concept of “failing fast”. The idea is that a developer should get alerted to error conditions as soon as possible.

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