[TUHS] Happy birthday, Dennis Ritchie! [ really sun vs dec/apollo --> X and NeWS ]

Jon Steinhart jon at fourwinds.com
Fri Sep 15 06:26:12 AEST 2017


"Ron Natalie" writes:
> The worst error system I ever encountered was a summer job I had in college.  
> The system I was using had a package called “reptile” that’s sole diagnostic
> was “Snake bite at xxxx” where xxxx was the address that the error was
> detected.   I had a crib sheet of what errors corresponded to what addresses,
> but that was rendered incorrect when the program was relinked and evertying
> moved.

I suppose that I'm guilty of this at some level.  When I worked at Tektronix
there was a management edict that one had to check for error returns on all
system calls even if the only way in which the system call would fail was
because the system was in the process of crashing.  I don't remember the exact
specifics, but it annoyed me to be wasting valuable space doing this, and there
was some sort of ioctl on a tty that could not possibly fail on a healthy system
and wouldn't cause any damage even if the error was returned.  While nobody ever
saw it, I chose the error message "tough ttys".


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