Productivity and debugging idea: "session"-tracking system similar to code version tracking systems

Andreas Pakulat apaku at
Fri Aug 12 13:53:10 UTC 2011

On 12.08.11 15:32:47, Michael Andersson wrote:
> Hi, this is my first mail to the KDevelop-devel list, and if I suggest
> something already discussed, I apologise.
> Yesterday I was coding as usual, revising a relatively complex part of my
> C++ project for the new requirements that it had to be adapted to. The
> changes led to a subtle bug, which took hours to track down, only in this
> case a bit more insidious than usual. What I finally did to locate it was to
> commit my non-working changeset to my git repo and then studied the commit
> diffs for all change points. This allowed me to finally find the offending
> lines and eliminate the bug.
> This was less than perfect for two reasons: first, I had to actually commit
> to see a digest of what I had updated since the start of the session.

Why? Or rather what was insufficient about git diff showing you the diff
to the base commit that you started from?

> Secondly, I had to commit non-working code, which I otherwise would never
> do.

Locally, you know with git you can rewrite history and hence such
commits can disappear before you push.

> However, it made me realise that a versioning system could actually be used
> as (or perhaps more correctly, be subverted into) a debugging tool. Clearly a
> versioning system shouldn't be used as a debugging aid, but just as clearly,
> there is a tool or IDE aid waiting to be made here.
> What if it was possible to start a--let's call it-- "session", which would
> be a point of origin against which all subsequent changes would be tracked,
> and these changes could then be reverted to the session start or be
> displayed as a digest? To some extent, most editors already support change
> tracking with green and yellow change indicators in the margin, but a
> "session" as I'm talking about here would be ramped-up compared to the
> simple margin colours. Perhaps sequences of such "sessions" could even be
> stored as a kind of "meta-undo" and progressive code digest presentation
> tool.
> So that is my idea: a session tracker system that would or could be part of
> KDevelop. I am looking forward to feedback!

I somehow fail to see where this is different from/better than creating
commits in a VCS that allows you to rewrite history or just using the
vcs-tools to show you all changes you've done. So either I'm missing
something from your original explanation or all this already exists
today and you just need to discover it. 


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