RFC: Automatic trouble reporting

Johan Walles walles at mailblocks.com
Wed Feb 2 09:27:36 CST 2005

A crash-catcher could very well:
1. catch the crash
2. do its crashdumping thing (report the crash to wherever)
3. call the default signal handler, thus producing a proper core dump 
and a "Segmentation fault" message on the console

Since (as you say), the crash handler can't expect to be able to pop up 
a GUI, IMO it should be entirely non-interactive.

This would be /etc/ld.so.preload-friendly.

  Regards //Johan

-----Original Message-----
From: Mike Hearn <mike at navi.cx>
To: Johan Walles <walles at mailblocks.com>
Cc: ubuntu-devel at lists.ubuntu.com
Sent: Wed, 02 Feb 2005 13:45:49 +0000
Subject: Re: RFC: Automatic trouble reporting

On Tue, 2005-02-01 at 23:51 -0800, Johan Walles wrote:
> Also, it needs to be loaded through /etc/ld.so.preload, doing it from
> gnome-panel (don't know if this was just a typo) will still mostly
> catch GNOME stuff.  If X or sshd or something like that crashes, you
> need to be a bit more daring than that to catch it.

No, the gnome-panel scope is deliberate. If I run an app from the
command line, I expect it to print "Segmentation fault" if it crashes.
This is a good behaviour for the command line. It's short, to the point,
and if you want more detail you can get it from the debugger. Bear in
mind X may not even be active! Also there's no point in showing user-
visible GUIs for random stuff like sshd that the user cannot relate to
anything they can see or know about. That's just poor usability.

Any GUI app you run is likely to be launched from either:

a) The desktop GUI (so the panel or nautilus)
b) Other programs that were in turn launched by the desktop GUI

Using an LD_PRELOAD environment variable scopes this correctly without
interfering with command line programs where the new behaviour would not
be useful and might potentially break things.

Stuff not being graphical from the command like is fine: command line
users should be OK with that, and if they're not, why are they using the
command line? Alright, obvious reason right now is because on Linux you
sometimes still need to use it. The need to use the command line is
reduced every day though. One day it won't be necessary at all for most
desktop users (ie, who don't use ssh ...)

thanks -mike

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