1 year ago 🥁 for day 114, 2021 with 440 words.

Debugger Debugger Debugger

Days to COVID Maxination: 12
Exercise: Gardening (Karen says I'm not allowed to call it yard work)
Piano Song of the day: More Sam Smith


I come from a time where source code debugger didn't exist. When I first started programing on the Mac you had better learn some 68000 assembler because you were going to be reading a lot of it., there was MacsBug - which was pretty useless - the debugger form Apple and there was TMON which was a symbolic debugger that allowed you to debug your C code as long as you could understand enough 68000 to map your C to it. There was also the Jasik's debugger by Steve Jasik which was very powerful but also somewhat hard to tame. I stuck with TMON.

Then came LightSpeed C (later to become Think C, then Symantec C) and it had a source level debugger and it was game changing in the world of macOS development. If you were developing device drivers you still needed to use a low-level debugger, but for most things it was just brilliant. Apple at the time had their own development environment MPW which also had a source code debugger. I never used MPW much.

After Think C came Metrowerks Codewarrior as Symatac C never really made the jump to PowerPC and Apple replaced MPW with what is now XCode.

When I switched to web programming (PHP/JS) life wasn't so easy. For JS it was easy, there is great debugging tools in most browsers - Chrome & FireFox for sure, IE not so much and Safari screwed theirs up by trying to make it look like XCode.

But for PHP I always fell back on the tried and trusted 'echo', 'print_r' and 'var_dump' commands to output my debugging information inline with the page I'm building. It's quick, it dirty, and 95/100 it is the quickest solution that gets you to the 'oh I see what is going on' states.

There are source level debugging for PHP too. They all revolved around a technology known as xdebug and my IDE's support it. Except the ones from Panic which is really a big admission on their part as their IDE's are so good.

Tonight I experimented with different debugging alternatives using xdebug. Well, first I had to get the xdebug extension working on my machine again and after that I tried:

And they all worked for source code debugging, which is great.

Of course var_dump(...) is still a better friend that VS Code but it's there for when I really need it.

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By Yorick Phoenix 🥁

Chief WriteTogether Bug Finder & character stringer. Generally, to create computer code, but sometimes actual words and paragraphs. Listens to lots of music, takes lots of photos, & invests in stocks for the long haul.

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