Friday, November 16, 2007

Stepping through properties in the debugger

Ever stepped through code in the debugger and ended up in N+1 trivial property getters before you got to the "real code" and felt frustrated?

Enter the DebuggerStepThroughAttribute. MSDN says the following: "For example, the Visual Studio 2005 debugger does not stop in a method marked with this attribute but does allow a breakpoint to be set in the method."

Basically, if you need a breakpoint in there, you'll get there, otherwise Visual Studio won't bother stepping there and just steps over it, which is exactly what we want.

So how do you apply the attribute to a property as its attribute usage states the following?

AttributeTargets.Method, Inherited=false)]

The point is to realize that while the property itself isn't a method, both the getter and the setter actually are.

So you can do the following:

        public int Foo
get { return m_foo; }
set { m_foo = value; }

..and now the getter has the attribute, while the setter does not.

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