Fun with Breakpoints in the Visual Studio Debugger

Once in a while, I come across a feature in the debugger where I ask myself: "I wonder if anyone knows about this feature!"

Yesterday, I came across just such a feature: Did you know that the debugger can play a sound when a breakpoint is triggered? Watch this short video and then continue reading to learn more.

Get Microsoft Silverlight

You can configure Visual Studio to play a sound when a breakpoint is triggered via Windows Sounds, as shown below.

Windows Sound dialog

I can think of three scenarios where developers would use this feature:

  1. Developers who are visually impaired can use breakpoint sounds to know when a breakpoint is triggered
  2. A developer might have a scenario where it takes a long time to get to the point where the breakpoint is triggered. By binding a sound to the breakpoint, the developer can run the debugger and switch to other tasks. Once the breakpoint is triggered, the developer hears the sound and starts debugging the application.
  3. Some people just like customizing their applications. Take Outlook for example. I have run across numerous people who have changed the default sound for email notifications for Outlook. Why not customize breakpoints?

In the video above, I used Homer Simpson’s classic "Doh!" as the sound for when the breakpoint is hit, but ultimately, I couldn’t decide what would be the perfect sound for when a breakpoint is triggered. What do you think? If you have any suggestions as to what sound a breakpoint should play, please leave your feedback. Also, let me know of other scenarios where breakpoint sounds would be useful.

Habib Heydarian.

Comments (1)

  1. GregM says:

    I do it mainly for #2.  I set breakpoint hit, build failed, and build succeeded.  At one point, I had read that the sounds were removed for security reasons.  I don’t remember now exactly what version that was, and it may have been a pre-release version, but I’m glad they’re still around.