Subject: Re: port-xen/29887: sysctl kern.consdev coredumps
To: Jason Thorpe <>
From: Bill Studenmund <>
List: tech-userlevel
Date: 06/20/2005 20:48:43
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On Mon, Jun 20, 2005 at 07:17:08PM -0700, Jason Thorpe wrote:
> On Jun 20, 2005, at 4:32 PM, Bill Studenmund wrote:
> >My day job is working on a shipping product. Core dumps are bad. Core
> >dumps generate customer service issues, and impact the reliaility =20
> >of the
> >product. I would much rather have customers reporting logs like =20
> >"Error X
> >with client (null)" than passing back stack traces.
> My day job is also working on a shipping commercial product (though =20
> not NetBSD-based), and I must say that giving the end user the =20
> ability to submit a problem report with an actual core file is =20
> invaluable.

Uhm, I don't remember saying I don't want core dumps. They can be VERY=20
valuable. However I don't want a core dump to tell me I had a crash in an=
error-handling log message. A core telling me I had a crash in code=20
handling a case I _should_ be handling (or should be protecting against),=
that's fine.

> If your product is buggy, then fix the bugs -- don't paper over it in =20
> an effort to "improve reliability" ... you're just substituting =20
> incorrect behavior (maybe benign in the case of a log message, but =20
> maybe not in some other case).  If stack traces are too difficult to =20
> work with, then improve the debugging infrastructure in your product.

I'm still not getting how printf() or puts() not coring is incorrect=20
behavior. The strongest I've heard so far is that the behavior is=20
undefined and up to the implementation. I have not heard a requirement=20
that the implementation has to crash. Yes, I do agree that a program=20
operating in a standardized environment (-std=3D<foo> or -ansi or such)=20
should not ASSUME that it can do it, but I haven't heard someone quote=20
that we MUST crash.

Take care,


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