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shotgun debugging

shotgun debugging

Posted Dec 2, 2011 22:09 UTC (Fri) by giraffedata (subscriber, #1954)
In reply to: Improving ext4: bigalloc, inline data, and metadata checksums by yoe
Parent article: Improving ext4: bigalloc, inline data, and metadata checksums

What you're trying to do with moving back to ext3 is what the Jargon File calls shotgun debugging: trying out some radical move in hopes that this will fix your problem.

That's not shotgun debugging (and not what the Jargon File calls it). The salient property of a shotgun isn't that it makes radical changes, but that it makes widespread changes. So you hit what you want to hit without aiming at it.

Shotgun debugging is trying lots of little things, none that you particularly believe will fix the bug.

In this case, the fallback to ext3 is fairly well targeted: the problem came contemporaneously with this one major and known change to the system, so it's not unreasonable to try undoing that change.

The other comments give good reason to believe this is not the best way forward, but it isn't because it's shotgun debugging.

There must be a term for the debugging mistake in which you give too much weight to the one recent change you know about in the area; I don't know what it is. (I've lost count of how many people accused me of breaking their Windows system because after I used it, there was a Putty icon on the desktop and something broke soon after that).

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