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How does one analysis difficult code and track variable manipulations in C++?

This is a discussion on How does one analysis difficult code and track variable manipulations in C++? within the C++ Programming forums, part of the General Programming Boards category; I started reading Bjarne Stroustrup C++ Programming Practises and Principles. Recently I have been stuck on Chapter 6 and 7 ...

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    How does one analysis difficult code and track variable manipulations in C++?

    I started reading Bjarne Stroustrup C++ Programming Practises and Principles. Recently I have been stuck on Chapter 6 and 7 with the Parser 'Simple Calculator' program the book was teaching.

    When analysing abstract programs its hard to know how functions and objects manipulate input streams and where it sends them after. In this book when he introduced parsing there are times when an object function calls a object where that object calls a recursion, where that recursion calls another method that calls two separate recursions.... it makes you wonder to yourself how you managed to learn and understand the derivation of the Gravitational Constant g but a simple calculator

    In V.S.I heard you can use the debugger and toggle checkpoints but there has to be a more efficient way when:

    You don't know where the code is going...


    Here it is:
    View Code Snippet ยป Code Viewer - Source Code Upload/Viewer


    My question is ~ how can I better analysis and keep track of the variable values of the input stream >> output stream. If you can help me use the debugger for such complexity I guess the question wont be opinion based..

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    Most debuggers allow you to step through the code step by step while it is executing, GDB has a feature (i imagine others have as well) that will step into all function calls as they appear. If the code uses the STL a lot, then it will get hairy and hard to follow quickly though.
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    I know it's lame but I really like using print flags.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MutantJohn View Post
    I know it's lame but I really like using print flags.
    I don't think that's lame at all. It only becomes worse than using a debugger when you start putting debugging printf's all over the place. Then a debugger is better. And a debugger is better for quickly finding out exactly where a segfault is occurring.

    But if you're avoiding the debugger because you don't know how to use it, then it would be a good idea to learn. Debuggers in an IDE tend to be easier to learn.
    Salem likes this.
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