Knuth on Debugging

Casey’s Handmade Hero project has spent the past few weeks implementing a debugging system. A question that comes up in the chat has been “why is so much time begin spent on the debugging system ?”. By coincidence I’ve started working through TAOCP (The Art of Computer Programming) and came across this quote which provides a good answer:

The most effective debugging techniques seem to be those that are designed and built into the program itself – many of today’s best programmers will devote nearly half of their programs to facilitating the debugging process in the other half; the first half, which usually consists of fairly straight forward routines that display relevant information in a readable format, will eventually be thrown away, but the net result is a surprising gain in productivity.

TAOCP Volume 1, Donald E. Knuth

Ignore the wise words of Knuth at your peril!

Knuth on Debugging