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Re: Debug output etc, cluttering the terminal

On Sun, 15 Aug 2010 02:23:32 +0000
"brian m. carlson" <sandals@crustytoothpaste.net> wrote:

> On Sun, Aug 15, 2010 at 12:09:42AM +0100, Neil Williams wrote:
> > It's debug output, it is useful when debugging and you need the
> > output, e.g. when fixing bugs and the user can just be asked to run
> > the command from the terminal and post the output to help in
> > debugging the bug report. Generally, the debug output for a
> > particular release tends to reflect the issues which upstream were
> > working on most intensively before that release and therefore can
> > have a direct impact on the likelihood of new bugs or regressions
> > in old bugs.
> The Unix tradition is for programs to run silently unless there's a
> problem.

Just because you don't see the bug on your system does not mean that
the bug does not occur on slightly different systems.

> I have no problem with programs taking an environment variable or a
> command line option in order to produce debugging output, but it
> shouldn't be the default.

Sometimes that is necessary. Perhaps it is worth considering that
developers do actually care and do such things for very good reasons
and that maybe you just haven't realised why this happens.

> > It's not clutter. If you don't want to see it, run the command and
> > redirect stderr.
> It is clutter.  In my case, I opened a PDF in mutt.  mutt used okular
> instead of evince (why, I'm not sure) and therefore the terminal in
> which I run my mutt session now has KDE daemons screaming at me when I
> update my system.  This is not desirable.

Redirect stderr when opening the file or work out why okular was
selected in the first place. Moaning in the general direction of all
developers everywhere isn't helpful. Do something to identify the
problem, not the symptom. BTW evince produces debug messages when
loading some PDF files too, so this isn't just an okular thing.

If you want the debug output to go away, help the developers fix the
bugs which are either causing the output or causing the developers to
need the output.


Neil Williams

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