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Debug mode in software/device validation

robert.beck

Involved In Discussions
#1
software is written in C, with a "macro" "#define HARDWARE_DEBUG 1". this macro is intended to be commented out for the release version. there is test code that is active when this macro is active, and it provides data via a serial connection that is not needed during normal operation.

from a regulatory point of view, are there issues with this approach to validating functional operation of the device? most of the functions are controlled by software.

thanks, any opinions or comments welcome.
 
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yodon

Staff member
Super Moderator
#2
I would presume there are some V&V tests that need to be done with hardware_debug enabled and that's ok as long as it's well documented. Where you can do testing without it, you should. V&V should be done as much as possible with the 'production' code. Isolate use of the debug version to as small a subset of tests as possible.
 

Tidge

Trusted Information Resource
#3
It is common to use "instrumented" code for testing below the system level. System level testing should be on the equivalent of product software.

As a matter of artistic preference, I would not rely on "commenting out" a line of code. I would prefer that a switch be used that is controlled by a specific header file, as it can be made much more obvious if the code is instrumented in this way.

Of course, the software could be architected and designed in such a way that the product code includes diagnostic routines that are invisible to the user.... but those also should be verified to work. *wink*
 
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