Thursday, May 5, 2011

Debug Builds

I've found with many projects I work on. The closer it gets to the end, the less useful "Debug" builds are. You always end up working in some sort of Release-UnOpt  build.

I'm sitting here now, and running a debug build in a frame rate I can only describe as "Slide Show". Granted, for what I'm testing my frame rate is largely irrelevant. I recall on Dead Space, debug wouldn't even fit in console Debug RAM. This raises an interesting question, why is it as developers we add debug spew/info/etc until we make the debug build, we are trying so hard to make usable, completely unusable?

I once heard a quote: no Engineer in good conscience, would write a DestroyBaghdad() method, instead, they would write a DestroyCity() method, of which Baghdad would be a parameter. I suspect the debug spew we leave behind is similar, we just assume what the next one will need. Call it a new flavor on the Speculative Generality code smell. We preempt our following engineers, to our eventual deficit. Debug death by a thousand cuts.

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