CS W1001 Introduction to Computers
The Artist Formerly Known As Eric Siegel, Columbia University

Debugging Angst

On-line studio recording

This song is a rock ballad with something of a descending baseline.

This version is specific to Java programming; also see the C programming version with live vocal recording.

Syntax error, parsing error; did you forget your semicolon?
Programming is 99% debugging, so you better keep it scrollin'.
"Unterminated string", did you match your double quote?
/* Comment your code, label your node, write yourself a note! */

It's the pain of finally figuring out what went wrong ("doh!").
Who's to blame when you confuse two equal signs with one?
Compiler warnings should not be ignored, or your variable could be uninitialized.
If you screw up and find your butt in an infinite loop, ^C will set you free.

Don't disrespect your teaching assistant -- she's your biggest hero.
"Arithmetic exception" is a run-time error when you divide by zero.
You must pay heed to array boundaries, because, despite your best intentions,
when it's time to submit your homework you'll get an "index out of bounds exception."


Ultimately what you've got to do is narrow down the problem.
It's like finding a needle in a haystack; you're never gonna solve them,
unless you put in some System.out.println()'s, or comment half that haystack.
"Stack overflow", you've no place to go, your program is a lame hack!


© 1998 Eric V. Siegel