Status update: Wow, writing an IntelliJ plugin is a huge time sink! Very steep learning curve.

I’m making progress though, will hopefully have something interesting to share soon.

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@shadowfacts Thanks! I’m curious because I mostly use print debugging, but it often feels slow and cumbersome. But debuggers don’t quite do what I want, so print debugging is still somehow the best tool for me. There’s gotta be a better way.

Here's a couple random questions for all the software engineers out there:

How do you debug your code?

Do you think there's room for tools to make your debugging process more efficient or effective?

I'm going to try writing my first IntelliJ IDEA plugin. Wish me luck! 🎉

@shadowfacts My advice would be try to avoid returning references from functions as much as possible. Rust does not handle complicated referential relationships well because of lifetimes.

Sure, maybe it’s actually possible to do, but it would be so much of a lifetime hassle you wouldn’t want to.

Oi... it took me all day today (and a chunk of time a few days ago) to narrow down a bug in an app at work to a library we're using.

This was one of the most difficult issues to isolate that I have ever encountered in my admittedly only mid-length career.

I'm kind of proud of it though. Feels like a victory. 🤩

For posterity:

EDIT: wow, somehow I posted entirely the wrong link. Fixed!

@djsundog the world record for fewest world records held by an individual keeps changing hands faster than anyone can keep up with

@shadowfacts haha, it’s almost as if the employees don’t know what HR’s job is.

Whoa! Imagine you could enhance your print debugging experience with time-saving tools? What if someone made a debugger for your favorite language, but it was based on the print technique instead of stepping? That would totally change my life. =D

“Software you can love”

What an interesting concept for a new brand of free/open software.

@AskChip I can only imagine... I'm afraid to etch boards. All those chemicals are scary. That's why I went the milling route. Plus, I don't have a printer. 😋

Also, I need to look into getting a macro lens. It’s so hard to keep these pictures from coming out blurry.

And maybe clean up my flux too. 😋

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It worked! Looks like I can solder 0603 passives without too much trouble. And now I can breadboard with those damn tiny bits too. This little breakout board was half utility and half test/practice. 😃

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Oh, and thanks to @AskChip for tips on prepping the boards for soldering. Those green scrubbies are awesome at removing the oxide layer, but not the copper! :blobcatfingerguns:

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I finally got the isolation routing to come out clean! 😃

I just had to measure the imperfections in the tool and adjust the isolation job to compensate. Oi, what a pain, but at least it worked.

Btw, this is a test board for a bunch of 0603 passives I just ordered. Should be good soldering practice too.

@gudenau That would explain a lot.

Although the biggest defect I'm seeing is the bits aren't very true. Meaning the cutting tip of the V is very off-center and cuts a much wider and rougher path than it's supposed to.

Is that a typical wear pattern for a used bit?

On a related note, anyone have a good source for quality CNC tools in the US? 😀

Apparently the ones I bought off the internet are garbage. If I'm lucky, 3 out of the 10 bits will actually be usable for isolation routing.

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I bought a CNC mill recently to prototype PCBs with a turnaround time on the order of hours instead of weeks. But I've been having a hell of a time getting the isolation routing to come out clean.

After a long story, it turns out the V-bits I've been using are just poorly machined! Inspection under a microscope shows all kinds of issues. It's so bad I'm tempted to write a blog post about it, if anyone's interested.

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