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SubjectRe: [ANNOUNCE] Withdrawl of Open Source NDS Project/NTFS/M2FS for Linux
   Date: Tue, 5 Sep 2000 01:13:51 +0100 (BST)
From: Alan Cox <alan@lxorguk.ukuu.org.uk>

> This is why Linus does not allow a debugging facility like this into
> the kernel, so people spend time _thinking_ when they go hunting down
> bugs.

I spend my time thinking. But I prefer to spend it thinking about the bug
not about finding it and how long fsck takes. There are only a few things I
think Linus is a complete loon about 8) but the debugging stuff is one.

I disagree, for the cases where I cannot for some reason reproduce the
bug with / mounted read-only, the time it spends fsck'ing I spend
_thinking_ about what possible causes are _instead_ of taping on the
keyboard like a monkey.

By the time the fsck completes, very often my brain has quiped "oh
duh, yeah it's probably x and y doing z" and I'm in the home stretch
of fully verifying the true cause of the bug.

Seriously, this is one area where I am so happy we don't have fancy
kernel debuggers in there by default. Fancy debuggers encourage the
programmer to engage in behaviorology research, and _not_ in finding
the true cause of a bug and fixing it properly.

I take much comfort in the fact that 2 hackers who have been debugging
programms probably longer that I have been alive (Kernighan and Pike)
agree with me. See chapter 5 of their book "The Practice of
Programming". Note in particular the second paragraph on page 119.

Profiling and performance monitoring tools, they are useful too, but
also as a seperate patch.

Later,
David S. Miller
davem@redhat.com
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