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Re: problem writing debugging utility function

  • To: mathgroup at
  • Subject: [mg100348] Re: [mg100248] problem writing debugging utility function
  • From: DrMajorBob <btreat1 at>
  • Date: Mon, 1 Jun 2009 07:11:25 -0400 (EDT)
  • References: <>
  • Reply-to: drmajorbob at

SetAttributes[echo, HoldFirst]

echo[x_] := Print[ToString@HoldForm@x, " = ", x]


On Fri, 29 May 2009 19:57:49 -0500, dabrowsa at  
<dabrowsa at> wrote:

> This matter is pretty unimportant, but perhaps of interest in laying
> out a persistent source confusion for me with Mathematica: evaluation
> control.
> I'm skeptical of the built-in debugger because it seems to crash the
> kernel often, so I do most of my debugging by inserting print
> statements like
>     Print["variableOne = ",variableOne].
> Being extraordinarily lazy I soon thought it might be nice to have a
> little function, say dbgv, which takes a variable or name of a
> variable as an argument, and produces the same result as the print
> statement above.
> At first I assumed this would be easy, since almost every programming
> problem turns out to be pretty easy with Mathematica.  But after an hour
> or so I began to wonder whether it would be possible at all.  I did
> eventually find a solution, a function dbgv such that dbgv[variableOne]
> produces exactly the effect of the print statement, but it's really ugly.
> I'll post it later.
> Granted this is not an important problem since it's not too much
> trouble to just type in the whole print statement.  But it's worth
> noting that this would trivial to solve with a Lisp macro, and despite
> the fantastic expressibility of Mathematica it doesn't seem to have a
> good replacement for macros.  The closest equivalents are $Pre(Read),
> which I used in my solution, but they're not nearly as nice to work with.
> Can anyone think of an elegant solution?

DrMajorBob at

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