#112 – Conditionally Compiling Code in Debug Builds

By default, the C# project wizard sets up every project to have two different build configurations–Debug and Release.

Debug builds (as compared with Release builds):

  • Create executables in \bin\Debug directory
  • Do not optimize code
  • Define the DEBUG symbol
  • Write out full debug info

You build your projects in the Debug configuration during development, for the best debugging experience.  Then, when your program is ready to ship, you build the Release configuration and ship that version.

You may want to include certain code in your program that you use only for debugging purposes–so you include it in only the Debug build.  You do this using the #if directive, checking the DEBUG variable.

 static void Main(string[] args)
     DoSomeLogging();   // Only do this in Debug build
    uint x = 0x1234;
    x &= 0x0020;

Code within the #if/#endif directives will not be included in the release build.