Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Errors? What errors?

We all know that a Linux is a 'hacker's operating system', which means it is only friendly to fat, pimply men hopped up on Twinkies and Mountain Dew and who last showered when their Mom forced them to three weeks ago.

Here is a good example of the differences between a normal person and a freetard.

When normal people have computer problems, they generally take their computer into Best Buy and let the Geek Squad figure out what the problem is.

Lusers, on the other hand, mostly end up having to personally fix their systems when they break, since they are compelled both by their need to maintain their reputation in front of the rest of the basement-dwelling lusers of the world and by the fact that nobody else gives a fuck about Linux.

Even if others did care about supporting Linux, which distro(s) should they care about? Even if Best Buy supported the top 5 distros on distrowatch, there would be a mass cry of preteen voices and lusers by the dozens would write thousands of furious, barely legible blog posts whining that their insignificant Ubuntu mod was not supported.

Of course, not everything is peaches and ice cream on this 'hacker's operating system.'

One of my readers has kindly provided us with an example of what a luser has to go through to fix his system. Let's take a glimpse of this sad, pathetic world for some cheap laughs, shall we?

I like what you are doing. We Linux geeks need a dose of honesty and reality in order to improve. Public humiliation is sometimes effective, but we Linux geeks are good at disregarding the opinions of the ignorant masses.

My favorite Linux issue: the secret hidden error messages that many Linux apps produce (or not).

When some Linux app suddenly disappears from the screen, I normally just utter "fucking Linux" and start it up again. But sometimes I have the temerity to actually go looking for the problem in the numerous error log files. This is usually a waste of time, because one of the following is true:

  1. There is no message, at least not in any of the places I know where to look, or findable within the time I am willing to spend.
  2. Something that may be relevant can be found, but the message is incomprehensible (probably a leftover debug trace from a programmer).
  3. There are hundreds of messages in the log file (with no time stamps) and I give up trying to find anything relevant to my problem.

A window manager like Gnome should pop up a message box anytime some app writes to stderr or gets a segment fault. This is apparently too much of a bother for the Gnome geeks to implement. After all, they already know where to look when things go wrong, or they always run their apps from a terminal window so they can see stderr outputs and other debug traces.

Here is the (hidden) .xsession-errors file from my current session. I can see why it is hidden and why the Gnome geeks do not want this shit popping up in my face: it is too embarrassing.

/etc/gdm/Xsession: Beginning session setup...
Setting IM through im-switch for locale=en_US.
Start IM through /etc/X11/xinit/xinput.d/all_ALL linked to /etc/X11/xinit/xinput.d/default.
Window manager warning: Failed to read saved session file /home/mico/.config/metacity/sessions/ Failed to open file '/home/mico/.config/metacity/sessions/': No such file or directory
Failure: Module initalization failed

** (nm-applet:5933): WARNING **: No connections defined
seahorse nautilus module initialized
Initializing nautilus-share extension
Initializing diff-ext

(gnome-panel:5926): Gdk-WARNING **: /build/buildd/gtk+2.0-2.14.4/gdk/x11/gdkdrawable-x11.c:878 drawable is not a pixmap or window

** (nautilus:5927): WARNING **: Unable to add monitor: Not supported
javaldx: Could not find a Java Runtime Environment!

(soffice:6243): Gtk-WARNING **: GtkSpinButton: setting an adjustment with non-zero page size is deprecated
Nautilus-Share-Message: Called "net usershare info" but it failed: 'net usershare' returned error 255: net usershare: cannot open usershare directory /var/lib/samba/usershares. Error No such file or directory
Please ask your system administrator to enable user sharing.

If you did not understand a word of that, consider yourself a sane, well-adjusted individual. Otherwise, there is still hope. You can break the addiction to freetardism, and a good place to start would be reading through my archives and the archives of Linux Hater.


yOSHi314 said...

"A window manager like Gnome should pop up a message box anytime some app writes to stderr or gets a segment fault. "

he obviously doesn't realize how much stuff gets written to stderr/stdout by most apps. if he did, he would eat his words.

besides, it's not a window manager's responsibility to keep track of segfaulting apps. if something went wrong, launch it again off xterm and check the output.

oiaohm said...

Besides feature Linux Hater's Redux is requesting is opt in and contained in most distributions. It part of bug buddy. Does far more than just monitoring stderr an stdout. It also helps user form a valid bug report.

Again very poorly researched. This is the Linux world. You have opt in and opt out on what could be annoying messages.

Its bit like saying Windows media player cannot play OGG files because you were too lazy to find that it has a 3d party codec.

Anonymous said...

By the way, KDE already has a crash dialog with backtrace, should you ask for it.