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Thinking in Java
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Although judicious use of System.out statements or logging information can produce valuable insight into the behavior of a program,[101] for difficult problems this approach becomes cumbersome and time-consuming. In addition, you may need to peek more deeply into the program than print statements will allow. For this, you need a debugger.

In addition to more quickly and easily displaying information that you could produce with print statements, a debugger will also set breakpoints and then stop the program when it reaches those breakpoints. A debugger can also display the state of the program at any instant, view the values of variables that you’re interested in, step through the program line-by-line, connect to a remotely running program, and more. Especially when you start building larger systems (where bugs can easily become buried), it pays to become familiar with debuggers.
Thinking in Java
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   Reproduced courtesy of Bruce Eckel, MindView, Inc. Design by Interspire