Debugging mode

Use the debugger to test a data-flo as you build it

Debugging Mode is a way to run the data-flo from the Canvas instead of from the Run Page.

Using the Debugger is especially helpful as you build a new data-flo, or when updating a complex data-flo. You can look at the intermediate outputs as each sequential adaptor is added, and as the steps occur, to ensure that you are getting the results you want and expect.

Unlike Run Mode, Debugging mode tracks all outputs and intermediate pieces.

Debugger toggle, Debugger Panel, "Show detailed errors" option

Add your first data import adaptor. Run the data-flo in Debugging mode. If it succeeds (adaptor card turns green, not red)

Test periodically as you build. Whenever you run the Debugger and get output(s) that are a viewable data type (e.g. data, list, text, map, etc), click on the output to see it in the Debugger panel. This allows you to check whether it looks the way you expect.

Occasionally, you may need to refresh the whole page to clear the browser's garbage collection cache, to stop unexpected errors from persisting.

Using the Debugger

Tips

TIP: Build left to right, and add adaptors to the canvas in the order they should run. This will reduce unexpected errors.

TIP: Don't close the Debugger between test runs, or you'll have to enter the inputs again. Keeping it open leaves file paths and other input values alive, making it faster to rerun the Debugger.

TIP: If you keep getting errors, click the Save (disk) icon next to the Debugger icon, and refresh your browser page. Run the Debugger again.

TIP: "Show detailed errors" (an option in the right sidebar for Data-flo details) does not affect the Debugger messages. It is used to show more detailed errors on the Run Page.

Example

Missing or erroneous input arguments

Two errors: If no input is specified for a required argument, or if an impossible binding is set.

Dataflow Debugger error messages

Run Page warning: This dataflow is incomplete

Missing adaptor input

When the data-flo contains at least one adaptor without a specified input, the Run Page will show the error, and the Debugger will also throw an error.

Run Page warning: This dataflow is incomplete

No data-flo outputs

When the data-flo has no adaptor outputs marked as data-flo outputs, the Run Page will show the warning, but the Debugger will not show an error. This is because the Debugger is meant to be used on incomplete data-flos to assist in testing intermediate steps.

Garbage Collection

When you rerun the data-flo in Debugging Mode, the software starts fresh with what it's tracking, but your browser and some of the Data-flo Javascript has various caches and related garbage collection that you (and Data-flo) can't control or force-empty. Occasionally, this junk causes problems, leading to errors even when the data-flo should work. The rule of thumb is that refreshing the whole page should help, and browsing elsewhere before returning should also solve the problem. Thus, "turn it off and on again" makes sense here.

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