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Assertive debugging: Correct software like you mean it

Posted: 02 Jun 2005     Print Version  Bookmark and Share

Keywords:debugging  assertive debugging 

The author proposes a new system for debugging software called the Assertive Debugging System (ADS), which can supposedly transform debugging from a minor art form to a modern industrial process. ADS exploits an old idea-the assertions were first suggested by John von Neumann in 1947. ADS, however, uses assertions systematically and exhaustively rather than as ad hoc tools that are employed only when the programmer remembers them and feels like using them. In doing so, ADS transforms assertions from an idea that's been floating around for half a century without achieving much, into a technology that could effect a revolution in program development. And unlike the methods Knuth had in mind, it doesn't throw away that part of the program devoted to debugging, but preserves it as valuable documentation of the state of the subject program and for later reuse when that program is modified.

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