“This is where a bug comes in: it can provide a story line.” This sounds like something I’ve told several different people who’ve asked me how to start learning about a large, existing code base. My advice to them was to have some specific purpose in mind: fix a particular bug, add a particular feature, something like that. This kind of thing helps to focus your mind as you beat your path through the software thicket, so that you aim for a specific destination instead of wandering off and getting lost.
Oh, and your details on tracking the problem down are the kind of thing I like to write about in my “Puzzle Page” series. :)
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