Friday, January 6, 2006

First grade first

Is using temporary variables was messy? I now advocate writing 1st grade code. By that I mean "See Dick run. See Jane smile." etc. Hey, we're all adults here, you say, why can't I write real code.

Well, writing really simple code makes debugging easier. What do I mean? I've had a couple occasions in the last week where debugging would have been easier if I'd writing really simple code. For example, I just got an null pointer exception here:

_dataSetsNeedingCleanup.add(new DataSetRef(state, dataSet.getId()));

I can't easily tell where the problem is coming from. It could be one or two places: my member variable _dataSetsNeedingCleanup could be null, or dataSet itself code be null. If I had written it like this,

final DataSetRef dataSetRef = new DataSetRef(state, dataSet.getId());

a stack trace provided by the user tells me exactly what's wrong. This saves me a whole step in the debugging cycle!
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