winged twilight

Binary Search

by BlockHead
I've seen many posts over time that basically are:
Hi, something is causing all of the houses to be upside down, or something is causing undead to walk the streets of Balmora, etc. I was wondering which of the following 64 plugins is causing it (followed by a list).
Disabling one at a time until the problem disappears can take a while. No one wants to do this and I don't blame them. Try this technique; it's called a binary search, and it's used in the computer science world.

Observe: Let's say you've got 64 plugins. Disable exactly half of them. Say you disable the last 32. Load up the problem save game. Does the problem disappear? Then you know the mod in question is one of the 32 you just disabled. If not, you know it is one of the 32 that you did not disable. 
Hey, wow! You've just cut the search in half. That's why it is called a binary search. 

Now exit and run the game again. This time disable the 32 plugins that you know are not causing the problem. Within the 32 that contain the problem, disable half of those. That would be 16 in this example. Run the game and see if the problem went away or not.   You've just cut your search in half again. Cool, no?

Repeat until you have isolated the one plugin. You do not need the number of plugins to be a power of two, that just made it easier for me to explain it. This is not a technique for detecting plugin conflicts, it is used to see which plugin did <whatever>.

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