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Re: Debug output etc, cluttering the terminal

On Sun, Aug 15, 2010 at 10:05:17AM +0100, Neil Williams wrote:
> Users may but developers will be looking for that debug output and
> starting the program from the command line explicitly to be able to
> collect it. (Filing a bug will usually result in the user being asked
> to start the program from the command line too.)

Sure. And there is no reason why such a request could not include
something along the lines of 'please run the application with the -d
option so that it produces debug output'.

Neil, nobody is disclaiming that debug output can be useful for a
developer. But an application that has nothing useful to say should not
say anything. The default for _any_ application should be to _not_
produce any output until there is a problem. 

This debugging output does cause problems: it slows down the application
(doing 'cout' or 'printf' when they are not needed *does* take up some
amount of CPU time, which becomes significant when the amount of output
gets rather large), it generates huge .xsession-errors files that can
cause problems for people with low quotas or for people who actually
need the *useful* information in those files, and (in the case of KDE
applications) it pollutes random unrelated terminals with output long
after the application that was started on that terminal has exited, just
because KDE applications like to start background daemons.

There is no good reason why doing debugging output should be the

The biometric identification system at the gates of the CIA headquarters
works because there's a guard with a large gun making sure no one is
trying to fool the system.

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