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LWN.net Weekly Edition for June 20, 2013
Pencil, Pencil, and Pencil
Dividing the Linux desktop
LWN.net Weekly Edition for June 13, 2013
A report from pgCon 2013
Debian switching to EGLIBC
Posted May 6, 2009 14:34 UTC (Wed) by kragil (guest, #34373)
Posted May 6, 2009 18:06 UTC (Wed) by ejr (subscriber, #51652)
I'm not saying he couldn't communicate his lack of time a tad more tactfully, but he still deserves respect. Also, I suspect the move to git is meant to make project-local forks easier.
Posted May 6, 2009 21:14 UTC (Wed) by stevenb (guest, #11536)
Posted May 6, 2009 22:30 UTC (Wed) by alankila (subscriber, #47141)
Not that I know anything of mr. Drepper. This has nothing to do with him.
Posted May 7, 2009 0:56 UTC (Thu) by ofeeley (guest, #36105)
The second instance seems to show people misusing the comment facilities on bugzilla in order to harass the developer.
Anyway, that's just an outsiders perspective taking a random, lazy look at some of the evidence presented by the prosecution.
Posted May 7, 2009 1:07 UTC (Thu) by jordanb (guest, #45668)
A friend of mine sent in a patch to Emacs Tetris, to fix a bug that allowed you to cheat. RMS replied with "when you cheat at solitaire, who are you cheating?" but applied the patch anyway. Something like that would have been the proper response.
Anyway, it wasn't the strfry incident that lead Debian to this point, clearly, but more his refusal to accept patches that fixed bugs on ARM on account of it being "crap."
Posted May 7, 2009 1:23 UTC (Thu) by ofeeley (guest, #36105)
Posted May 7, 2009 14:25 UTC (Thu) by Felix.Braun (subscriber, #3032)
The guy fixed a bug in [strfry()] though. Clearly it was important enough to him to do that analysis, and then fix what was wrong. All Drepper had to do is get over himself long enough to apply it.
To be fair, if you read the relevant bug report, you'll see that Mr. Drepper fixed the bug in a different way. He even re-fixed his first implementation after that was discovered to be sub-optimal. So, there should be no complaints here.
Posted May 11, 2009 4:31 UTC (Mon) by dirtyepic (subscriber, #30178)
Posted May 11, 2009 6:04 UTC (Mon) by nix (subscriber, #2304)
Posted May 7, 2009 6:52 UTC (Thu) by nix (subscriber, #2304)
Proof that it's a security improvement:
<http://sourceware.org/bugzilla/show_bug.cgi?id=7066>. A buffer overrun,
analysis ignored. Who knows why, at least he didn't say 'never going to
happen' about this one.
Posted May 7, 2009 10:02 UTC (Thu) by viro (subscriber, #7872)
Oddly enough, it *does* affect something. Such as the output of compiled binary (with stock glibc). Without -std=c99: out: 0x0p-15234. With it:
And a look at strtold(3) shows where the hell had that suggestion come from:
Feature Test Macro Requirements for glibc (see feature_test_macros(7)):
strtof(), strtold(): _XOPEN_SOURCE >= 600 || _ISOC99_SOURCE; or cc -std=c99
Experiment with -D_ISOC99_SOURCE or -D_XOPEN_SOURCE=600 shows the same output as -std=c99. And that output looks a lot saner (10.5 * 2 * 2) than the crap produced without any of those.
I can't be arsed to dig through the macro hell in glibc headers, but that looks suspiciously like compat with some pre-c99 GNUism. Don't know, don't care and _really_ don't want to debug that shite. However, I'm quite certain that by this point you see the reasons for LART as well as I do. For the benefit of the other folks:
1) failure to RTFM
2) dismissing relevant "did you have $FOO in arguments?" with "oh, it can't matter at all"
3) failure to RTFM even after that (if nothing else, to see WTF had that question been about)
4) reporting nasal daemons as security hole, instead of (if I've parsed that bug report correctly) some crap somewhere in the clusterfsck of makefiles around glibc testsuite, either present in the original or introduced by yourself.
5) refering to the entire sad story as to evidence of security hole found by proposed patch.
Nix, you *do* know better. The above is more than enough for you to construct quite a lovely verbal clue-by-four of your own, so I'll happily leave that as an exercise for reader.
Posted May 7, 2009 13:50 UTC (Thu) by viro (subscriber, #7872)
Posted May 7, 2009 14:38 UTC (Thu) by nix (subscriber, #2304)
(And absence of caffeine excuses all!)
Posted May 7, 2009 13:58 UTC (Thu) by k8to (subscriber, #15413)
Posted May 7, 2009 5:16 UTC (Thu) by PaulWay (✭ supporter ✭, #45600)
There are three fallacies with this approach that make it wrong. The first one is the idea that there's some magic number that you can derive that gives you the worth of a person and eir contribution to a specific project or goal. There's a whole sociology course of reasons there, but a simpler one might be that it gets down to the 'mythical man-month' problem - you can't just hire another 100 programmers and make the project go 100 times faster, or even as fast.
Secondly, you're biasing our reactions by picking a large number. If Ulrich is worth 1.1 other programmers, what do you do?
However, what it really comes down to for me is that there are a bunch of groups - programmers, Red Hat, open source enthusiasts - who should just say "no" to antisocial behaviour. Calling people idiots or defining their work as a waste of time should never be excusable. If Ulrich was being sexist, defamatory or racist, would that still be OK (even if he was worth 100 other programmers)? I personally say no.
When we implicitly or explicitly excuse this kind of obnoxious behaviour, we make it acceptable. That to me is just not on. We can hardly say "show me the code" if we then scare everyone off who tries to contribute code. There are plenty of ways to deal with the bug reports that the EGLIBC people link to that would have been polite and helpful but still firm in his opinion and would have taken even less time to do than Ulrich expended on his inflammatory outbursts. We should learn better ways to interact, rather than excuse bad behaviour.
Posted May 7, 2009 10:06 UTC (Thu) by NAR (subscriber, #1313)
Posted May 7, 2009 21:55 UTC (Thu) by man_ls (subscriber, #15091)
About character flaws I think you are quite right. In some contexts buffering the guru is an effective way to dealing with an ill-mannered engineer.
Posted May 8, 2009 1:55 UTC (Fri) by PaulWay (✭ supporter ✭, #45600)
Posted May 8, 2009 1:54 UTC (Fri) by PaulWay (✭ supporter ✭, #45600)
Yeah, right. Try being sexist, defamatory or racist in the workplace and see how your contract covers you. Try being sexist, defamatory or racist on a public internet forum and see how the forum's or your ISP's conditions of use work. Try getting up in a public place and being sexist, defamatory or racist and see how you go with the police.
People have the right to their own thoughts, which I think is where you're coming from. But public behaviour is what's in question here. And I'll bet you a beer that Ulrich's contract with Red Hat allows them to fire him for being sexist, defamatory or racist in public.
And even if there is some specific condition where being sexist, defamatory or racist is allowed, I still reckon it's bad behaviour. I don't care if someone is a thousand times better at coding than anyone else, being rude and obnoxious to other people is bad for that person,for the projects they work for and for the community they're involved in.
So to me it seems pretty counterproductive to hide behind some technical legal argument to excuse behaviour which, as I said originally, is completely unnecessary and caused Ulrich more hassle rather than less.
Don't be so sure
Posted May 8, 2009 18:08 UTC (Fri) by khim (subscriber, #9252)
Yeah, right. Try being sexist, defamatory or racist in the
workplace and see how your contract covers you.
If you are working for US Company - it'll be written in contract. In
other countries it's free right (some European countries are emulation US
but to smaller degree). You can be fired if you disrupt the team,
but just for being sexist or racist? Puhlease. When our company was bought
by US one we had special sessions to explain exactly what natural things
(like sexist jokes or jokes about other minorities) we shouldn't do from
now on. Everyone agreed that it's idiotic, but hey - these guys are paying
me, they establish rules.
Try being sexist, defamatory or racist on a public internet
forum and see how the forum's or your ISP's conditions of use
Probably you are visiting totally different forms from me - because I'm
seeing sexist, defamatory and racist remarks quite often. And not just from
trolls. Again: if we are not talking about US where (as Heinlein noted
half-sentury ago) everyone is so proud to point out that they have
absolutely nothing against your skin color, face or sexual
Try getting up in a public place and being sexist, defamatory
or racist and see how you go with the police.
For being sexist? This is a joke. For being defamatory or racist...
possibility is there but you need to spend A LOT OF effort to reach this
Right of being defamatory?
Posted May 11, 2009 11:01 UTC (Mon) by incase (subscriber, #37115)
In Germany, the topmost grant our constitution grants it dignity. Freedom of thought, religion and speech is also in their of course, but it is below the grants for dignity, and some other things like prohibition of discrimination because of race, sex/gender, religion and other things, your right not to be injured in physical or mental well-being etc.
And this is how it ought to be in my opinion.
Posted May 8, 2009 10:46 UTC (Fri) by alankila (subscriber, #47141)
Fair enough. It was a sketch of an argument. I picked a large, round number to make it obvious that I was not serious. What do you think 100 times more rude even means? It doesn't really mean anything.
"Secondly, you're biasing our reactions by picking a large number. If Ulrich is worth 1.1 other programmers, what do you do?"
In the argument, he is allowed to be up to 1.1 times more rude to compensate for technical prowess.
"Calling people idiots or defining their work as a waste of time should never be excusable."
I'll pick on the word "never". Let's take it literally. If a person is an idiot, and the work is waste of time, perhaps it would be good idea to call it such? I don't see what denying reality gets you, other than blinders that cause you to make mistakes.
Posted May 8, 2009 10:53 UTC (Fri) by alankila (subscriber, #47141)
To skillfully use this palette is completely another matter: it's horribly crude to use wrong kind of expression, and doesn't reflect well on the speaker. Communication is, after all, a process where you need to make yourself understood to another. Whether I just transgressed remains to be seen...
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