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README.md

Xcode Breakpoint Sounds

Sounds

Xcode Breakpoint Sounds is a custom collection of audio files specifically made for use with Xcode's Sound breakpoint action.

For more info, see the complete blog post on these sounds.

🔈 Why use sounds?

The biggest downside of typical breakpoints is that they freeze everything in its tracks and forcibly remove you from the context of the app you're debugging. Sometimes you'll want to gain a better understanding of how and when certain code is executing as you use the app in a fluid, natural manner.

Audible breakpoints have several unique advantages. They allow you to:

  • Use the app you're debugging in a natural, fluid manner, without interruptions
  • Keep your eyes completely focused on the UI or visual behaviors of that app
  • Obtain immediate feedback when reproducing timing-sensitive bugs, since the app does not need to be paused for the breakpoints to communicate the intended information
  • On macOS, avoid unwanted side effects caused by the app being deactivated when Xcode is brought forward (this is especially useful when debugging issues with popovers or utility panels, etc.)

What makes a 'good' breakpoint sound?

You'll quickly notice that Xcode's default sounds are fairly limited. Breakpoint sounds should ideally meet several criteria:

  • The audio files should be small in size (fast to load, quick to initiate playback)
  • They should be short in duration, to avoid long pauses while the breakpoint sound action is run
  • They should be uniquely discernible from each other, in cases where multiple sounds might play close together
  • Each playback should be distinct (so that the number of times the breakpoint sound is played is clear)
  • They should ideally convey some kind of meaning, or improve the context of debugging in some way

This collection attempts to provide a well-rounded, multi-purpose set of debugging sounds which meet all of the above criteria.

How to use

🔶 Option 1: Adding to Xcode

The easiest way to use these sounds is to add them to Xcode's breakpoint editor sound menu:

  1. Download the sounds
  2. Copy the audio files to ~/Library/Sounds
  3. Quit and relaunch Xcode

🔶 Option 2: Using AFPlay

If you don't wish to modify your ~/Library/Sounds folder, you can also easily play these sounds by using the Shell Command breakpoint action, rather than the Sound action.

Simply create a breakpoint which calls the afplay command and provide the file path to the sound effect you want to play as the argument. With this approach, you can make use of any arbitrary audio file in any location.

The Sounds

While these may not be amazing audio effects from a creativity or production-value standpoint, I believe they are particularly good choices for debugging. The example context listed for each audio file is obviously just a suggestion - they can be used however you like. The idea is simply to choose an effect which has some subjective association which makes it easier to recognize each breakpoint, particularly when using multiple breakpoints together.

Sound Example Context
Xcode_Collect Adding object to a collection (sound is similar to collecting an item or increasing your score in a video game)
Xcode_Pop Removing an item from a collection (e.g. 'popping' an object from a stack), freeing memory or releasing an object
Xcode_Bzzt Error or unexpected condition, useful for breakpoints in code that should not be hit
Xcode_Swish Releasing objects, freeing memory, exiting methods/functions, early returns
Xcode_Click Marker or tick sound (especially short, useful for breakpoints which may occur in rapid succession)
Xcode_Error Error or unexpected conditional
Xcode_Knock File writes, counter increment or decrement, etc.
Xcode_Punch Costly operation or code which is performing significant work
Xcode_Zip General purpose
Xcode_Quack General purpose
Xcode_Bird General purpose
Xcode_Chime General purpose

Author

Matt Reagan - Website: http://sound-of-silence.com/ - Twitter: @hmblebee

Licensing / Credits

These sound effects were selected from a library of royalty-free audio files, which I've amassed over the years for use with some of my game development projects. No copyrights or author credits are known to me; each audio file here is believed to be in the public domain. If you have questions on the source of any of these audio files please feel free to contact me.

About

Collection of audio files specifically made for use with Xcode's Sound breakpoint action.

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