[ic] Threaded perl (re: debian bug #203579)

Mike Heins mike at perusion.com
Sat Feb 26 18:30:55 EST 2005

Quoting Karl Schmidt (karl at xtronics.com):
> Mike Heins wrote:
> >Quoting Jamie Neil (jamie at versado.net):
> >
> >What would you have us do? When it works, it works. We have nothing
> >in Interchange which needs to be done that we know of. If there is
> >something, please, please tell us what it is.
> >
> I think the bug is in the libdbi-perl package? There is no bug even 
> reported in the current or closed Debian bug reports? How is it going to 
> get fixed if they don't know about it?

I don't have any problems -- I don't use a threaded Perl. If you want
to spend many, many hours chasing bugs in other people's programs, go
right ahead. But when there are many, many problems that are impossible
to characterize I won't even start.

> I've also been scouring the web for a clue as to how to reproduce this bug. 

What bug? There is no bug in Interchange that I know of. If you are
talking about the various threaded Perls, you have to talk in dozens
(or at earlier times hundreds) of bugs, any of which might cause
problems for IC.

If I thought there was one bug, I might try to get someone to fix it.
But when a feature is labeled experimental, and it doesn't work out of
the box, I don't bother until it is no longer labeled experimental.

> If there isn't even a test case how is it going to get fixed? I think 
> making sure Debian ,Redhat and Suse dist know there is a problem is 
> important.

Again, I don't have any problems because I don't use a threaded
Perl. When someone a) wants to do this so badly they will run their
site on it, and b) employs me to fix the problem, I will do it. I 
see no percentage in it as a way to spend my own time.

> I'm trying to make sure the correct people at Debian even know 
> about the issue, but I can't find a test case or information past a 
> warning. I think it is particularly important the the Debian folks are 
> aware of a problem and have a test case, because Debian has lots of 
> developer types and is likely to be where it get fixed.

I don't pretend to know the thought process that the Debian folks put
to shipping an experimental feature with known bugs on their production

With Red Hat, having worked there, I happen to know they are a bunch
of Python-heads. I wish I could categorically state I am sure that
they wouldn't take a private glee in shipping a broken Perl, but I
can't say that.

Again, shipping the threaded Perl was a very irresponsible thing to do
in my opinion, on both the part of Red Hat and Debian. They listened to
the Sendmail people who said they needed it, apparently without once
thinking of the rest of the millions of people who rely on Perl.

> >In fact, my latest tests indicate it works pretty well with Fedora Core
> >3 and their threaded perl. Does it work on other threaded Perls? Don't
> >know. But personally I wouldn't subject my online business to the
> >uncertainty.
> How are you testing it?

Running IC, and running the regression tests. It would not work before
with Fedora Core 1, and it does with Fedora Core 3.

> >You can put this in your .bashrc for your interchange user:
> >
> >
> >At that point, try it out. If it works for you, fine. 
> How do I test for the problem?

What problem? Again, the "problem" has manifested itself so many places in
so many different ways, depending one which specific version of Perl, DBI,
and DBD::* you use -- there is no "problem". At one point, you couldn't
even start the Interchange server and get it to run pages. Then sometimes
you would get problems after time passed. What is the current state? Beats
me. IC seems to run fine with a latest-version thread-enabled Perl,
but I haven't risked any of my sites to try it out in the real world.
When someone wants to do that, they should try it and report back. I
have no reason to do so, myself. I don't mind building a non-threaded
Perl and using that.

Bottom line seems to be that some people want me to spend hours, days, or
weeks chasing this. I won't do it until I think it makes sense.

Mike Heins
Perusion -- Expert Interchange Consulting    http://www.perusion.com/
phone +1.765.647.1295  tollfree 800-949-1889 <mike at perusion.com>

"Laughter is inner jogging." -- Norman Cousins

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