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KHB: Dynamic Instrumentation of Production Systems (a.k.a. DTrace)

KHB: Dynamic Instrumentation of Production Systems (a.k.a. DTrace)

Posted Sep 14, 2006 23:11 UTC (Thu) by dougm (guest, #4615)
Parent article: KHB: Dynamic Instrumentation of Production Systems (a.k.a. DTrace)

Val, really interesting article, thanks. My one nit: the use of "root-cause" as a verb, though
concise, is IMHO a horrible barbarism. Please be kinder to the English language. :)


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KHB: Dynamic Instrumentation of Production Systems (a.k.a. DTrace)

Posted Sep 15, 2006 3:02 UTC (Fri) by bronson (subscriber, #4806) [Link]

I disagree. I think using standard industry jargon keeps articles light and focused. LWN would be a duller place if they had to Strunk & White every submission.

I agree that it was a great article, of course.

standard?

Posted Sep 15, 2006 4:55 UTC (Fri) by roelofs (guest, #2599) [Link]

I think using standard industry jargon keeps articles light and focused.

Standard jargon, sure. But this?? I've been in "the industry" for 15 or 20 years, depending how you count, and I've never heard this usage before. My brain kept trying to parse it as some sort of security disaster ("Whoa, DTrace causes root exploits?!"). This kind of jargon we don't need.

LWN would be a duller place if they had to Strunk & White every submission.

See, now that's recognizable jargon--precise, informal, even humorous; it fits right in with LWN's overall style. And until today, all of Val's articles fit in well, too. Many of the contributed articles (and even a few of the regular staff's) don't quite live up to that standard, however. (One of the more egregious examples in recent weeks used commas in place of semicolons and periods--any high-school graduate should be capable of better than that!) Perhaps many of these problems are invisible to those who write the same way, but they're kind of jarring if you've grown accustomed to Jon's outstanding prose.

In short: clean, grammatical writing need not preclude either informality or humor. Spend some quality time with Mark Twain or Winston Churchill or even the Bard... Good examples abound.

Greg

standard?

Posted Sep 15, 2006 18:20 UTC (Fri) by bronson (subscriber, #4806) [Link]

Kernel: O miserable age! I tell thee, thy kernel is sullied. Tainted?? Nay, tis corruption hast brought perversion upon the noble state. The potent poison o'er crows my spirit. Be-netted round with IDE timeouts, thy tender servant halts here.

dies

Admin: Now crackst a noble heart. Goodbye sweet kernel. God knows when we shall meet again.

barbaric grammar

Posted Sep 15, 2006 4:37 UTC (Fri) by roelofs (guest, #2599) [Link]

My one nit: the use of "root-cause" as a verb, though concise, is IMHO a horrible barbarism. Please be kinder to the English language. :)

Amen, Brother! And thanks for clarifying what the author meant by that--my brain simply locked up on it; I couldn't, for the life of me, figure out how to parse it. (I actually thought it was the result of some ill-considered global search-and-replace operation. :-/ )

Greg

barbaric grammar

Posted Sep 15, 2006 18:06 UTC (Fri) by giraffedata (subscriber, #1954) [Link]

I'm not even sure it's the right word. It looks like one of those naive management neologisms designed to make you think something that's been around forever is new. Lots of verbed words originate that way. From context, I believe the simpler, older term "diagnose" is what the article means.

The reason I suspect management is that the main difference between a root cause and just a cause is that the root cause helps you figure out where you can change a process to stop similar problems from happening in the future. Just for engineering, a more proximate cause is usually sufficient.

Detritus

Posted Sep 17, 2006 5:12 UTC (Sun) by ncm (subscriber, #165) [Link]

While we're at it... the junk data shipped to user space by kernel probes probably should not be called "detritus, but rather "jetsam".


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