Sunday, December 16, 2012


If you have ever done debugging without a debugger, then you know how great a debugger is–any debugger is better than none. The alternative is printing out messages in your code using printf back in the day of straight C, or NSLog these days if you aren't yet comfortable with using a debugger.

Now, I won't go into the history, but suffice it to say we used to use GDB, but LLDB is the current course and while the road has been a little bumpy during the transition, things are getting better and debugging is simpler and more powerful than ever. Apple has made it pretty clear that they are trying to give us the tools that enable us to leave the days of placing debug code in our apps behind. I think we're there. You can now stop on a break point and start analyzing all of your code by using debugger commands and injecting actual Objective-C code that will get evaluated right while you're running. You can even change the value of your variables on the fly or edit a break point and tell it to print out a variable and then continue running. It's really quite powerful and your code can remain clean and un-tainted by debug code.

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