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Re: Inexcusable BDB upgrade triple blunder

From: Eric S. Raymond <esr_at_thyrsus.com>
Date: 2006-02-20 08:02:18 CET

Max Bowsher <maxb1@ukf.net>:
> First: What is the point of self-declaring a message as a flame? It
> seems to me that the only thing this accomplishes is to deliberately
> incite anger in the recipients.

Any kind of arousal would be better than the torpor that seems to have had
the dev group in its grip on this issue for nearly three months. I'm not
in the habit of launching on people without a reason at least that good.
> Second: What happened to "don't claim you have found a bug unless you
> are very, very sure of your ground." and "Courtesy never hurts, and
> sometimes helps", as asserted in
> http://www.catb.org/~esr/faqs/smart-questions.html ?

Since the whole wretched mess pivots around a real and admitted bug,
the above is just defensive posturing and a waste of everybody's time.

> Oops. I see we really have screwed up the FAQ entry's background info.
> There is no such function db_recover(), as it mentions.
> - From what I can remember, the issue was actually that the response of
> BDB 4.3 to the invocation that Subversion has always used was different
> to the response of BDB 4.0/1/2. I will go and investigate the situation,
> and fix that misinformation.

The FAQ author was hallucinating the existence of db_recover(), then;
see my "on drugs" comment.
> It seems that previous efforts to use BDB 4.3 on this repository had
> created a 4.3-version log file.

Right. Did the FAQ entry observe that the initial failure that threw
the DB_VERSION error would likely leave the repo with a mixed bag of 4.2 and
4.3 logfiles in it, dooming the stated recovery algorithm to fail? Why...
no...it didn't.

(And that wasn't the only thing wrong. dbrecover appeared to be saying it
couldn't find any file with the expected name, which strongly suggests that
the invocation instructions for dbrecover were broken in the first place.)

What makes me angry about this is the same thing that made me angry
the last time I tripped over a rather similar database-recovery botch.
In both cases your FAQ entries were either uninformative or plain
*wrong*, and your stated recovery procedures brittle to the point of
uselessness. Twice, I've seen this group behave as though if you
write about these problems dismissively enough, they'll never actually
bite anyone.

There is no question that you guys in the dev group are bright and
capable enough to write recovery procedures and FAQs that actually
*work* -- therefore, your failure to do so can only be down to
carelessness, laziness, or arrogance. When you exhibit carelessness,
laziness or arrogance, you deserve to be flamed and flamed is exactly
what you will get.

		Eric S. Raymond
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Received on Mon Feb 20 08:02:45 2006

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