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I have been playing with pdb for debugging code (introductory level)

Well, this is time to talk about something I have been playing, the pdb standard module python provides. I'll talk in the context of py 3.7+ since there are differences that improve how to work with this.

Well, first of all, as you should found in this field and coding experiences and challenges. You have to deal with bugs, unexpected errors, or even worst, unexpected behavior which sometimes is most difficult to trace.

Here are some lights on how to use it, this is really useful if your life is coding :). Consider the following commands table.

sExecute the current line and stop at the first possible occasion.
nContinue the execution until the next line in the current function is reached or it returns.
pShows the values of variables in context code.
llList the whole source code for the current function or frame
lIn contrast to ll, this command shows a shorter snippet of code.
l.If you pass the param . to this command, it will show you always 11 lines around the current line.
bSet a breakpoint, you can specify either a line number or function name where execution will stop.
cContinues execution until a breakpoint is found.
qQuit debugging and exit.

Having seen the table above, then let's play a bit. See the following example:

After running python, pdb comes in place, you'll see three important elements:
  1. the file, and line number in which pdb stand at this moment
  2. line code to see the context in which we are
  3. the pdb command line waiting for a command
Let's run some commands there:

I entered ll command (see on the table it meaning), as you can realize it, it shows all the context of line 14, remember this command shows more lines to better understand the context of the code, also you always see the -> that shows you where you are. After that first command entered, I ran n which continues to the next line (15).

You could always check values on any variable while you are walking throughout your code, use the command p and the variable name as follow:

Finally, use q to exit pdb module.

Next post, we'll talk and play with breakpoint functionality.


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