Re: [dwm] Re: Crash-only software

From: Lee Azzarello <>
Date: Tue, 3 Feb 2009 17:36:41 -0500

I like this idea for some applications, though a window manager is not
one of them.

I have unknowingly implemented this concept in a render farm I manage.
The farm does continuous transcoding of media submitted by any user on
the web. Therefore processes crash often. Then they restart and move
right along.


On Tue, Feb 3, 2009 at 4:33 PM, Marcin Cieslak <> wrote:
> markus schnalke wrote:
>> This is just a thought, because I stumpled upon the concept and think
>> it's a quite interesting approach.
>> See:
> I don't like this approach. I have always preferred software that "fails
> fast". As soon as something is wrong - just abort with debugging information
> what went wrong.
> I see some issues with the approach described in the paper. It assumes that
> the state saved is okay - I think that crashes occur _because_ internal
> state is inconsistent or wrong. Sure, you can dump internal state regularly
> for recovery - but it's like with backups - you never know which one is
> really clean and okay until you try to restore.
> Software bugs will sometimes create incorrect data. This may go unnoticed
> for some longer time.
> I think that authors unnecessarily assume that software components are
> "black boxes" that need to be kept up at all costs. This is not the right
> approach for availability I think. Most issues will occur when the component
> is upgraded and needs to use/migrate old data or sometimes to cooperate with
> still not upgraded components. If something goes wrong, the rollback becomes
> the issue also - if I have new, badly-behaving components that dumped its
> state in a new format, how do I go back?
> Sweeping problems under the carpet is not going to help much...
> --Marcin
Received on Tue Feb 03 2009 - 22:36:41 UTC

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