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Stuart Herbert's Blog:
Isolate To Eliminate
October 12, 2009 @ 08:12:02

In his most recent post Stuart Herbert has a suggestion that can make your development life simpler and make debugging less of a headache down the road - isolation.

If you know the code well, perhaps you can make an intuitive leap to immediately jump to where the bug is. But how do you go about tracking down a bug when intuition doesn't help? The nature of all code is that larger systems are built from smaller underlying systems and components. [...] Apart from being a strategy that allows you to work on code you've never seen before, this approach also has the advantage that it is evidence-based.

He suggests the division of your application down into the base level of components, sets of "logical points" that make it both simpler to test and more modular for the future. He gives an example of tracking down a bug in a system like this and notes that, with a good set of tests, it can be much faster than some of the other, more traditional debugging methods.

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