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909REVIEW: "Debug It: Find, Repair, and Prevent Bugs in Your Code", Paul Butcher

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  • Rob, grandpa of Ryan, Trevor, Devon & Han
    Nov 16, 2013
    • 0 Attachment
      BKDEBGIT.RVW 20130122

      "Debug It: Find, Repair, and Prevent Bugs in Your Code", Paul Butcher,
      2009, U$34.95/C$43.95, 978-1-93435-628-9
      %A Paul Butcher paul@...
      %C 2831 El Dorado Pkwy, #103-381 Frisco, TX 75033
      %D 2009
      %G 978-1-93435-628-9 1-93435-628-X
      %I Pragmatic Bookshelf
      %O U$34.95/C$43.95 sales@... 800-699-7764
      %O http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/193435628X/robsladesinterne
      http://www.amazon.co.uk/exec/obidos/ASIN/193435628X/robsladesinte-21
      %O http://www.amazon.ca/exec/obidos/ASIN/193435628X/robsladesin03-20
      %O Audience n- Tech 2 Writing 1 (see revfaq.htm for explanation)
      %P 214 p.
      %T "Debug It: Find, Repair, and Prevent Bugs in Your Code"

      The preface states that there are lots of books in the market that
      teach development and few that teach debugging. (In my experience, a
      great many development books include debugging advice, so I'm not sure
      where the author's perception comes from.) The work is structured
      around a core method for debugging: reproduce, diagnose, fix, and
      reflect.

      Part one presents the basic technique. Chapter one repeats the
      description of this core method. Chapter two encourages the
      reproduction of the bug. (This can be more complex than the author
      lets on. I have a netbook with some bug in the hibernation function.
      Despite constant observation over a period of three and a half years,
      I've yet to find a combination of conditions that reproduces the
      failure, nor one that prevents it.) Some of the suggestions given are
      useful, if pedestrian, while others are pretty pointless. (Butcher
      does not address the rather thorny issue of using "real" data for
      testing.) In terms of diagnosis, in chapter three, there is limited
      description of process, but lots of good tips. The same is true of
      fixing, in chapter four. (I most definitely agree with the
      recommendation to fix underlying causes, rather than effects.)
      Reflection, the topic of chapter five, is limited to advice that the
      problem be considered even after you've fixed it.

      Part two explores the larger picture. Chapter six examines bug
      tracking systems, and eliciting feedback from users and support staff.
      Chapter seven advises on trying to address the bugs, but concentrates
      on "fix early," with little discussion of priorities or ranking
      systems.

      Part three, entitled "Debug Fu," turns to related and side issues.
      The "Special Cases" in chapter eight seem to be fairly common:
      software already released, compatibility issues, and "heisenbugs" that
      disappear when you try to track them. Chapter nine, on the ideal
      debugging environment, is about as practical as most such exercises.
      "Teach Your Software to Debug Itself" in chapter ten seems confined to
      a few specific cases. Chapter eleven notes some common problems in
      development teams and structures.

      The advice in the book is good, and solid, but not surprising to
      anyone with experience. Novices who have not considered debugging
      much will find it useful.

      copyright, Robert M. Slade 2013 BKDEBGIT.RVW 20130122


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