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[Popcon-developers] Bug#298760: popularity-contest: Gives inaccurate information when disk is mounted with noatime option

A related issue is the case where a program such as "integrit" updates
the atime of all files in /bin and /usr (and elsewhere) each day.  

For example, a popcon submission on one of my systems (a few months ago)
looks like:

  POPULARITY-CONTEST-0 TIME:1108386306 ID:[...]
  1108386315 1089347334 grep /bin/egrep
  1108386313 1089346922 findutils /usr/bin/find
  1108386306 1089347334 shellutils /bin/date
  1108386306 1089346951 popularity-contest /usr/sbin/popularity-contest 
  1108384616 1089346922 netcat /usr/bin/netcat
  1108384616 1089346922 ncurses-bin /usr/bin/captoinfo
  1108384616 1089346922 joe /usr/bin/jpico
  1108384615 1089346921 whiptail /usr/bin/whiptail
  0 0 zlib1g <NOFILES>
  0 0 xprt-common <NOFILES>

[This submission was generated by the popularity-contest package in
Woody (1.3-1.1), but as far as I have been able to find, the issue the
issue is still there at least through the Sarge version (1.28).]

The issue is that all the atime values fall in a short range (e.g. 
1108386315 - 1108384615 = 1700 sec < 30 minutes) and occur just before
the runtime of popularity-contest itself.

So, my point is that if you add special handling for the noatime case,
you might want to also handle the "atimes are all too close together"
problem at the same time.

(In addition eventually dealing with this situation the program, it
would also be nice to know if the popcon maintainers would or would not
like to have systems affected by this problem participating in the
program.  Is it more helpful or harmful for these systems to be included
given their bogus "vote" counts?)


Nathan Stratton Treadway  -  nathanst@ontko.com  -  Mid-Atlantic region
Ray Ontko & Co.  -  Software consulting services  -   http://www.ontko.com/
 GPG Key: http://www.ontko.com/~nathanst/gpg_key.txt   ID: 1023D/ECFB6239
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