When I was in college learning C programming, they told us there was a debugger we could use, but I rebelled against it. I could debug perfectly well with printf() and my wits. Besides, I was only getting 4 hours of sleep a night; I didn’t have the time to learn how to use it. Well college is not real life and I would not be caught dead without a debugger now.
Now I see people ask questions on the newsgroups and my answer is: Look at the debug output! Set a breakpoint! Look at the callstack! Step through some code! Check your variables! Oh, we don’t have KITL. We don’t have time to set it up.
When I was a kid, I had a pretty stupid joke book. I thought it was funny at the time. There is only one joke I can remember now; it has always stuck with me. And it applies here.
A man sees his neighbor frantically running down the street pushing his bicycle.
“Why don’t you get on your bike and pedal?” he asks.
The neighbor puffs back, “I can’t, I haven’t got time!”
That is how I feel when people ask for help but say they can’t take the time to use a debugger. They’re not exactly encouraging me to spend my time helping them debug. John Eldridge coined the phrase, “KITL First, Ask Questions Later!” It is repeated enough in the Windows CE community that it has become common knowledge, I think. Love it. Live it. I do.
I do take pity on our application developers and other folks who have no chance to use KITL. But OEMs — if it’s too hard to set up KITL, then tell Microsoft so we make it easier! But don’t skip it!
Okay, enough negativity, back to work… 🙂