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Best Practices for Troubleshooting Mobile Software

Article Source Linux Magazine
July 13, 2009, 10:11 am

Recently I was working in the yard with my son on a very hot day — we were clearing some trees on our property. Periodically one of my daughters would bring us a cold drink of water to keep us cool and motivated to finish the job without asking them for assistance! I usually gulp my water down right away, but my son would drink his glass over the course of a few minutes, in between hauling branches to the wood pile. I heard a groan as he said, “I think I just swallowed a couple of bugs in my cup of water.” Like the loving father that I am (try to be), I said, “well, if you have to eat bugs, it is better to swallow them whole than to chew on them.” In some strange way, that reminded me of a recent BlackBerry project where trapping errors was particularly challenging until I got a handle on how to properly deal with the challenges.

When you write a mobile application for a client and they send you the friendly “it doesn’t work for me” email, just how do you go about finding the solution to their problem? Some platforms are easier to debug than others. For example, when writing an application for Windows Mobile or Android devices it is fairly straight-forward to log data to a file and then view that data directly on the device or synch it to the desktop for inspection. Other platforms such as Research in Motion’s BlackBerry are not so easy to debug complex applications...

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