[nSLUG] [OT] Looking for a DNS secondary partner

Ian Campbell ian at slu.ms
Mon May 4 16:35:56 ADT 2009

On Mon, May 04, 2009 at 03:17:08PM -0300, D G Teed wrote:
> On Mon, May 4, 2009 at 2:51 PM, Ian Campbell <ian at slu.ms> wrote:
> > On Mon, May 04, 2009 at 10:52:19AM -0300, D G Teed wrote:
> I do think it is a professional failing.  yum is used in a professional
> product or two, and given its critical role, I'd think they only allow
> skilled coders to tackle its maintenance.

Two words: debian openssl.

Even OpenSSH has had its share of bugs. Mistakes happen, even for
skilled coders.

> I doubt that many would see lack of an error handler for such a
> simple and highly possible error would be acceptable.  The
> discussions I saw around the problem indicate the yum error
> handling and reporting has been wanting for quite some time.
> Spewing python tracebacks is unfortunately the norm.  Maybe those
> guys are ex-tomcat coders and think that style of error reporting is
> sufficient.

To be fair, from a developer's perspective a python backtrace is
probably far more useful than "Error fooing Bar"

> All of our production perl code has such an error handler and that's just
> for us to use.   Same with opening a database connection in a scripting
> language. You never write code that just assumes the connection was
> successful.

I know nothing about your code, but I'm going to go out on a limb and
say a backtrace would be more useful than a generic error message
there too. You may want to handle it more gracefully than yum does,
but... yum doesn't need to keep running, it has the luxury of being
able to exit abruptly if it wants.

I guess I don't understand what your complaint is. Does yum blindly
assume things without checking them (obviously bad), or is your
complaint that it dumps an unfriendly-looking flood of messages on
users when it fails?

> > None of this has anything to do with "self-serving" or
> > "altruistic." Blessed are the pure of heart, but that doesn't mean
> > they can code.
> I never said anyone with a pure heart can code.  But if you are writing
> open source software, I would hope it is developed with more
> users than merely yourself in mind.  I would think it would go
> naturally with being community minded and all.  But perhaps
> for people with an ego to feed it doesn't.

I'm a cynical person, maybe that's why it looks to me like hardware
manufacturers open awful driver code on the OSS community in an effort
to avoid anything approaching support.

I'm also pretty sure that the vast majority of OSS projects were
started because the author had some itch they needed scratched, and
that opensourcing it was a secondary concern.

You could make convincing arguments that many of the pillars of open
source have egos the size of aircraft carriers (Theo de Raadt comes to
mind) ... so I'm not sure that's relevant either.

Pick any group of people of any significant size and I'm sure you'll
find one acting like a jerk -- before the dragonfly bsd fork, the
freebsd mailing list had frequent fireworks. Suggesting that says
anything about the code quality though is just open source phrenology.                                                   

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