Tracepoints are AWESOME!

 So I was debugging a function this week that is called whenever my program is focused, which leads to a huge frustration when setting a breakpoint in it.  (You know the moment you F5 your debugger, then ALT+Tab back, the focus logic strikes again and you're back where you were a millisecond ago in the debugger.)

Typically to work around these situations, I've slapped in a few Debug.WriteLines, and started all over from scratch.  But this is annoying and time consuming, and I'm not always debugging code I can change.  Some folks solve this problem by using remote debugging, but if I'm too lazy to put in a Debug.WriteLine, I'm CERTAINLY too lazy to remote debug.

So I stumbled across a new feature (which folks have mentioned to me several times before but I had not yet seen the light). 

When you set a breakpoint in VS 2005, right click on it the next time, and select the "When hit..." option.  This will change your breakpoint into a tracepoint!  A tracepoint does not stop the debugger, it simply spews output into the output window when it is hit. 

So, the next time you're debugging something in VS, take a minute, right click and enjoy the wonder that is "when hit".

Instructions for creating a tracepoint.


Comments (11)

  1. — Microsoft Products Developed in .NET A brief summary of the approximate number of lines of .net code in various MS products, which is a question I’ve seen asked by a lot of people in a lot of places. Not…

  2. Roger says:

    What about multiple monitors?

    Very useful when debugging GUI-code.

  3. Matty4242 says:

    Oh man – thanks for the tip – this is going to minimize my insanity!

  4. Roger,

    Multi-mon helps with some UI code, but there’s still a big class of issues where having the focus move to the debugger mucks things up.

    I disagree with Chris about remote debugging. I’m pretty lazy as well, but I do remote debugging all the time. All you need is a way to interrupt your program when it starts – a parameter that calls MessageBox works well – and then you can easily attach and debug.

    I do spend a lot of time switching on my switchbox.

  5. I read this, and I’m hooked!  Visual Studio drives me mad when it snatches focus back when you hit…

  6. CoqBlog says:

    Pour ceux qui ne seraient pas (encore) abonnés aux Z’actus d’ASP-MAGAZINE, voici une information concernant…

  7. jfo's coding says:

    For the most part, activation and focus work pretty darn well in windows, until you want to tweak…

  8. CoqBlog says:

    Pour ceux qui ne seraient pas (encore) abonnés aux Z’actus d’ ASP-MAGAZINE , voici une information concernant

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