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SubjectRe: Availability of kdb
On Sun, 10 Sep 2000, Horst von Brand wrote:
> I've found more bugs by "working half crippled" (as you call it). I do
> agree with Linus that people who rely mainly on debuggers for finding and
> fixing bugs are on the whole bad programmers, I've had to deal with more

I've resisted from participating this thread but as it seems to drag forever,
what the heck (probably a bad move). Your argument has the flaw that all
programmers using debuggers are bad programmers, programmers who have
no self-discipline, no guts to actually find out what was wrong. Just as any
tool, debuggers can be abused but they should not be condemned on that basis
alone.

On another note, I think even those bad, lazy programmers are intelligent
enough to find kdb on the net and patch it into their kernels. The mere
availability of the tools then should be enough for explosion of bad code
but has this happened? On the other hand, those people who are not
knowledgeable enough to mess with patches, system administrators or end
users have no access to the tools when they need it. For example for a
driver author who is trying to debug a problem he can't reproduce by
himself, it would be useful to instruct the bug reporter to enter the
debugger, execute these commands and mail the results back to himself.
Debugger would simply be a tool to get wider knowledge of the kernel state
than a simple oops dump.

Dave Miller explains his methods for finding and fixing bugs in the code
which seem logical enough but who gets to decide what's enough knowledge of
the kernel state? Currently it is oops and nothing but the oops. If taken
to its logical extreme, one could argue that oopses should be removed too.
Afterall they perform the same function as printing the register
dump and the stack backtrace in a debugger would.

--
D.

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