• 201702.01

    Debug comments (or how to save your sanity using git)

    A lot of times when I’m programming, I need to write a few lines of code that test what I’m working on. This can be a top-level function call, a few log entries, etc. Much to my dismay, I tended to end up with this debug code committed to git.

    I decided I wasn’t going to take it anymore.

    Git’s pre-commit hook to the rescue

    Now, whenever I add one of these lines, I mark it with a special comment:

    console.log('the value is: ', val);     // gee, sure hope i don't commit this


    // DEBUG: remove this log entry
    console.log('the value is: ', val);

    Then in my pre-commit hook, I symlink a script that checks for DEBUG comments in various languages for that repo:

    function add_to_debug {
    		git diff \
    			--cached \
    			--name-only \
    			-G"${comment}[ ]*DEBUG" \
    			-- "*.${filetype}"
    add_to_debug 'js' '//'
    add_to_debug 'rs' '//'
    add_to_debug 'html' '<!--'
    add_to_debug 'lisp' ';'
    add_to_debug 'sh' '#'
    add_to_debug 'hbs' '{{!--'
    if [ "${DEBUG}" != "" ]; then
    	echo "Please address the DEBUG comments in following files before committing:"
    	echo "${DEBUG}" | sed 's/^/  /'
    	exit 1

    Using this, trying to commit any code that has DEBUG comments will fail with the output:

    Please address the DEBUG comments in following files before committing:

    This forces going back in and cleaning up your code before committing it. Wicked.

    Get it yourself

    Grab the pre-commit hook off my Github to END THE SUFFERING and stop committing your debug code.