Linked by Thom Holwerda on Sat 10th May 2008 20:27 UTC, submitted by rosebug
Bugs & Viruses 1983. The year of the IBM PC XT, the Apple Lisa, Pioneer 10 leaving the solar system, and Hooters opening up shop in Florida. It's also the birthyear of a 25 year old BSD bug, squashed only a few days ago.
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RE: HEH
by JonathanBThompson on Sun 11th May 2008 02:32 UTC in reply to "HEH"
JonathanBThompson
Member since:
2006-05-26

With all due respect, it does not show persistence for the original developers, or much of anything good about them, really: any bug of this sort that's known about to cause data loss/corruption is generally considered a "no-ship" bug everywhere I've been, and this bug shows also that they simply didn't do very good testing and think about all the reasonably possible edge cases, and this existed for 25 years until some puzzled developer victimized by it tracked it down in a short time period. Kudos the developer that tracked this down: raspberries at the one(s) that should have caught and fixed this ages ago (how many generations does that count in when it comes to this field? ACK!)

Reply Parent Score: 4

RE[2]: HEH
by Oliver on Sun 11th May 2008 07:10 in reply to "RE: HEH"
Oliver Member since:
2006-07-15

Maybe you should try first to develop something like an operating system, then you should speak again. And now be calm, something professional is going on.

Reply Parent Score: 7

RE[3]: HEH
by smitty on Sun 11th May 2008 07:29 in reply to "RE[2]: HEH"
smitty Member since:
2005-10-13

I understand how difficult it is to find every last single bug in a complex piece of software, but I still think it's a little odd how all the BSD devs are getting praised for fixing this bug like they are.

I mean, think about the kind of comments that would be here if it was a story about how Microsoft just fixed a 25 year old bug.

I'm pretty sure even Linux would get hammered, as people would come in claiming that the Linux devs spend too much time on new features without polishing the old ones, and someone would try to blame it on the unstable API.

Reply Parent Score: 4

RE[3]: HEH
by JonathanBThompson on Mon 12th May 2008 01:47 in reply to "RE[2]: HEH"
JonathanBThompson Member since:
2006-05-26

Ah, shows you have absolutely no clue what I've developed in the past, or what I'm developing now:

1. Various CD premastering/analysis utilities, some multithreaded: a patent was involved with one project as I worked on the code for making CD+/CD-PLUS format (whatever they're calling it these days). Oh, that also involved me having to hack the Linux kernel because it wasn't setup to do what was needed previously.

2. Engine monitoring software for Cummins diesel engines from pickup-sized to ship engine-sized.

3. CNC/press brake software: yeah, I bet you'll have to look that up! Multithreading throughout, and oh yeah, if that's wrong, machinery is damaged and people may die, no exaggeration.

4. 3D CAD software: at least as complicated for all edge cases as an OS.

5. MPP cluster-based database running on linux, currently in use on smaller systems than what it'll be in a month or two, which is 1024 node system. Oh, yes, the database itself, not a "database application" and yes, it's at one of the big internet companies, and this database beats Oracle's best offerings for speed and running costs right now. I'm currently working as the white box QA engineer.

Before you have a clue what other people have done and have experience in, you really should think carefully. Fact of the matter is, this BSD bug has been there 25 years and was known by others. Sure, it's a multithreaded bug, but it isn't rocket science for this one, and it has been known about for several years before it was finally fixed, even though it was known to effectively lose data.

You seriously need to not assume things you don't have a clue about.

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE[2]: HEH
by evangs on Sun 11th May 2008 07:29 in reply to "RE: HEH"
evangs Member since:
2005-07-07

I think this illustrates the fallacy of the "many eyeballs" meme that is taken as the gospel truth in open source circles.

Here, we have a bunch of open source developers (samba) who find a flaw in an open source product (BSD) and instead of stepping through the BSD source tree to find the problem, they code a samba hack that works around the problem on BSDs. In fact, it appears they didn't even submit a bug report.

Guess what? This happens all the time in the closed source world. If we come across a bug in someone else's code, we code a temporary hack around the problem and wait for the bug to be resolved. This article suggests that such development culture appears in open source projects too, which is understandable.

I hope that naive open source advocates who keep preaching the "many eyeballs" meme will stop doing so. The majority of developers do not have the desire or the inclination to fix other peoples bugs even if the source is available. Hell, it seems that some don't even file bug reports...

Reply Parent Score: 7

RE[3]: HEH
by stestagg on Sun 11th May 2008 09:52 in reply to "RE[2]: HEH"
stestagg Member since:
2006-06-03

So you're taking one specific incident, and using it to back up generalized statements about the whole Open Source community?

Reply Parent Score: 10

RE[3]: HEH
by abraxas on Sun 11th May 2008 14:52 in reply to "RE[2]: HEH"
abraxas Member since:
2005-07-07

I think this illustrates the fallacy of the "many eyeballs" meme that is taken as the gospel truth in open source circles.


The exception confirms the rule. The fact that this is newsworthy and thus uncommon in open source projects proves quite the opposite of what you are saying. Open source isn't a perfect development system but these kinds of unfixed bugs aren't exactly the norm in open development. Closed source software has all kinds of workarounds built into them to address issues with their interaction with other closed source software but we don't hear about it because it is so common that it isn't newsworthy. Workarounds are only necessary in the closed source world because there is no code to look at to confirm the bug and the developer can just deny the bug exists and claim it is the interaction with other software that is flawed.

Reply Parent Score: 4

RE[3]: HEH
by Morin on Mon 12th May 2008 14:04 in reply to "RE[2]: HEH"
Morin Member since:
2005-12-31

> I hope that naive open source advocates who keep preaching the "many
> eyeballs" meme will stop doing so. The majority of developers do not
> have the desire or the inclination to fix other peoples bugs even if the
> source is available. Hell, it seems that some don't even file bug
> reports...

Just to show you another point of view: I have had that situation just a few days ago, where I would rather code around a bug in Eclipse IDE than report details or even fix it. Guess why? The bug had been known for more than three years, and repeatedly been marked as "we won't fix this, and we won't accept fixes" (for backwards compatibility).

No, I do not have the desire nor the inclination to investigate any deeper when I know that the aim of the developers is NOT to fix those bugs.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[2]: HEH
by renox on Sun 11th May 2008 14:58 in reply to "RE: HEH"
renox Member since:
2005-07-06

Well the test case was quite complex, wasn't it?

So I'm not surprised that this kind of things wasn't found early..

But the fact that Samba knew about this bug and that this wasn't fixed in the BSDs for several years is bad, yes.

Reply Parent Score: 3