By Deane Barker on July 27, 2004

Project Marmalade: Interesting new debugging tool. (When I say “new,” I mean, barely prototyped and not even close to being released, if ever.)

The Whyline is a novel debugging interface that allows programmers to ask questions about their program’s failure in terms of their program’s output. We have prototyped the Whyline in the Alice programming system. In user tests with non-programmers, the Whyline reduced debugging time by nearly a factor of 8, and helped users get 40% further through their task.

Found via this CNN article which had this to say:

Funded by $1.2 million from the National Science Foundation, Whyline — short for Workspace for Helping You Link Instructions to Numbers and Events — is designed for programmers of all kinds, from hard-core professionals to weekend Web designers.



  1. Very nice. Actually thinks like a programmer… you know what I mean. Better than Failed line 234 or NullReference line 3234, ect…

  2. I want this!

    What a wonderful way to debug. I’m debugging at work right now and I could really use a tool like this. I hope this eventually makes it out the door.

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