Debug and Algebra

The process of debugging GoBot is very similar to solving elementary algebra problems. Let’s compare 5–2+X=3+1 and the following program. (See what the yellow block mean here.)

This program failed to make Gobot draw digit 6

To solve the algebra equation, first we need to rearrange it into X=(3+1)-(5–2). Similarly, we separate the program into two parts. We use yellow to represent the first half and green to represent the latter half.

Finally we decide X=4-3=1, and we see the angle in the joint of yellow and green lines is 180 degrees off. Therefore we replace the right turn with a left turn.

You also can see debugging is actually more demanding than an common elementary algebra problem. You can argue the knowledge of two-dimensional vector and transformation is also required to solve these questions.

It’s important to point out the debugging here is also very similar to a typical debugging programmers would encounter in their daily job. Locating where the error is essential to debugging.

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