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Re: Debug output etc, cluttering the terminal

On Sun, 15 Aug 2010 12:44:59 +0800
Paul Wise <pabs@debian.org> wrote:

> On Sun, Aug 15, 2010 at 7:09 AM, Neil Williams <codehelp@debian.org>
> wrote:
> > It's not clutter. If you don't want to see it, run the command and
> > redirect stderr.
> debug output should certainly not be output by default in released
> versions without a command-line or configuration option turning it on.

On the contrary, I've outlined some situations where on-by-default is
the best way to identify the bug itself.

> l for one don't want ls doing something like this:
> ls: starting up
> ls: checking for bad filesystems
> ls: searching for files in /home/foo/some/path
> foo bar/ baz/
> ls: 1 file found
> ls: 2 directories found

But if that software starts misbehaving in circumstances which are not
easily identified, then debug output can be essential.

If the above is actually:

stderr> ls: starting up
stderr> ls: checking for bad filesystems
stderr> ls: searching for files in /home/foo/some/path
stdout> foo bar/ baz/
stderr> ls: 1 file found
stderr> ls: 2 directories found

then this could be useful. Done correctly, (and the above wouldn't be
nice from something like 'ls' but for other command line programs it
could be necessary), debug-on-by-default is very important to actually
debugging hard-to-reproduce bugs.

Even coreutils has bugs.


Neil Williams

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