Finding Stubborn Bugs with Meaningful Debug Info

When a user reports a bug you can't duplicate, let your application help you find the problem. Add logging now and be a debugging master after the software gets deployed.

There are many ways to help your users report bugs in your program and track them down, but they should not be employed in a vacuum. Don't forget to make it easy to report and track bugs, and to write clean code in the first place. Finally, remember that none of these steps are a magic bullet. Taken together, they can simplify your bug-tracking process and help find many problems, but they won't necessarily solve everything.

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John Goerzen is a longtime Linux programmer and the author of Foundations of Python Network Programming. He also serves as President of Software in the Public Interest, Inc. John welcomes your comments at