CS W1007 Introduction to Computer Science
The Artist Formerly Known As Eric Siegel, Columbia University

Debugging Angst

Live vocal recording

Eric Siegel wrote and performed this song when he was a computer science professor at Columbia University, 1997 - 2000.

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

This version is specific to C programming; also see the Java programming version.

"syntax error", "parsing error"; did you forget your ;?
Programming is 99% debugging, so you better keep it scrollin'.
"unterminated string", did you match your ''?
/* 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; you'll dereference a NULL pointer.
If you screw up and find your butt in an infinite loop, ^C will control C.

Don't disrespect your teaching assistant -- she's your biggest hero.
"floating point exception" is a run-time error when you divide by 0.
"segmentation fault" can bring you to tears -- in your throat there'll be a lump,
'cause when it's time to submit your homework all you'll get is a "core dump"


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 printf()'s, comment half that haystack.
"stack overflow", you've no place to go, your program is a lame hack!


© 1998 Eric V. Siegel