Debugging a large codebase can sometimes be a pain, especially if you’re new to it and
you don’t know about all the classes and relations in the system.
In this post I’d like to share a cool (IMO) way to debug not well-known codebase using
dynamically created breakpoints. NB: yes, Ruby is so dynamic that you can create breakpoints on the go.
Assuming that you use byebug or pry,
imagine that you’ve put a breaking point:
Inside the breaking point, you only know that there is a credit_card object with errors method
coming from ActiveModel::Errors.
You also expect that some other objects will be calling errors.add, but you don’t know who
and how will be doing it.
Here is what you can insert being in the breaking point:
This snipped will inject into add method from credit_card.errors and start debugging when someone
calls that method. Tricky, eh?
In my case, this dynamic breaking point helped me to find which objects have been adding errors on credit_card object.
As an alternative, I could probably insert a breaking point into the ActiveModel::Errors#add method,
but that would trigger too many breaking points that I’m not interested in, because ActiveModel::Errors#add
is used in other places of the same system.
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About the author
Kir Shatrov helps businesses to grow by scaling the infrastructure. He likes to write about software, scalability and interesting stories that he runs into at work. Follow him on Twitter to get the latest updates: @kirshatrov.