I heard the term "post-mortem debugging", and Wikipedia says it's debugging done after the program has crashed.

I often debug Python apps using a debugger that stops execution once an important-enough exception has been raised. Then I can use the debug probe to investigate.

Does this count as "post-mortem debugging"? Because the program doesn't really crash.

EDIT: If the answer is no, then what name would you use for the kind of debugging that I described?

  • Probably the term is "interactive debugging".
    – Jeremy
    Nov 17, 2011 at 16:25
  • Well, that doesn't differentiate it much from any other kind of interactive debugging that does't get triggered by exceptions.
    – Ram Rachum
    Nov 17, 2011 at 17:27
  • I suppose you could call it "dynamic breakpointing", but the technique's been around for a long time and hasn't had a special name before.
    – TMN
    Nov 17, 2011 at 18:36

1 Answer 1


No. Post-mortem debugging involves using a debugger and a core file or other memory image. If the program's still running, then it hasn't "died", so it's still pre-mortem.

EDIT: I don't think this technique has a specific name, "breakpointing on exceptions" is the term I'd use, although @Jeremy's suggestion is just as good.

  • Yes, and the term wouldn't typically be used to refer to an app running under a debugger on a development machine.
    – Jeremy
    Nov 17, 2011 at 16:23
  • Please see my edit.
    – Ram Rachum
    Nov 17, 2011 at 16:24
  • OP's stated "using a debugger that stops execution", I'm not sure the specifics of Python, so it may kill the process, rather than pause execution.
    – StuperUser
    Nov 17, 2011 at 16:27
  • It doesn't kill the process.
    – Ram Rachum
    Nov 17, 2011 at 17:26

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