Readers Prefer ISDB
December 11, 2002 Timothy Prickett Morgan
In the article, “Use the Full-Screen Debugger with OPM Programs,” which published in the November 6, 2002, edition of Midrange Guru, I asked for your reasons why you prefer ISDB to the full-screen ILE debugger. Several of you responded.
Here are the reasons some Midrange Guru readers prefer ISDB, in order of preference.
Most readers liked the fact that ISBD allows you to watch the value of one or more variables as you step through the source code. The variables’ values are shown at the top of the display. STRDBG requires you to continually press F11 or use the eval command to view the value of a variable.
The fact that you can type RUN lineno at the ISDB command line or place the cursor on a line (and press F13), to which ISDB runs and stops regardless of breakpoints, is the second highest preference among readers.
The least preferred choice is ISDB’s use of different colors for the different types of source lines. Source code lines are shown in green by default, but comments are in white, I/O operations are in red, nesting structures are purple, and array definitions are shown in blue.
Here are some of the additional comments I received.
The watch command exists in both debuggers with very different operations behind them. I find both watch operations useful and, in fact, I feel that each debugger really needs to have the other’s WATCH command along side its own.
The one thing I don’t like about the ILE debugger is the fact that I no longer have the option of turning off the interactive portion of it and using the old trace listing methods. Occasionally when debugging a run of large amounts of data where very few records are in error, I find it more convenient to look at a trace listing.
On the other hand, STRDBG is superior to STRISDB for two reasons.
Using WATCH on a variable halts program execution when the variable changes, which is invaluable when you have NO idea where in the program the field value is being changed and/or corrupted.
This choice is much friendlier to use when debugging a serviced job. On my shop’s system we have so many jobs active at any given time that it is a pain to find your job in the list provided by STRISDB.
It is confusing using both versions as the function keys are different.
Thank you, Larry, Thom, Pam, Rich, Lynne, Ken, Pete, Fred, Bob, and Toni for your input.
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