A tryout, practice version, or rehearsal of something planned: One more dry run, then tomorrow we do it(1940s+)
: so the medical staff could ''dry run'' their equipment
The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D. Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers. Cite This Source
dry run in Technology
programming To execute a program by hand, writing values of variables and other run-time data on paper, in order to check its operation and control flow or to track down a bug (as part of debugging). A dry run is an extreme form of desk check or code review and is practical only for fairly simple programs, small amounts of data and simple external interfaces. It was often performed off-line using a hardcopy of the source code. Dry runs were common practice in the days when access to computers was limited but the availability of screen editors and fast compilers makes debugging by printf a more productive method in most cases. Sophisticated debuggers that allow you to get the computer to step through your source code line by line and show values of variables make even this unnecessary. (2006-11-27)
A trial exercise or rehearsal, as in Regard this as a dry run for tonight's ceremony. This term, using dry in the sense of “unproductive,” was at first employed mainly in the military for simulated bombings in which no bombs were dropped.
[ c. 1940