[cvsnt] Stop cvsnt 'crash dump' dialog?

John Cole john.cole at uai.com
Wed Oct 27 18:45:27 BST 2004

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  Have you considered a feature like the Mozilla Talkback agent or something
even simpler?  Even just a simple html post with the version to a web server
whenever a crash is encountered would provide you with a lot of information.

  Your very confident that crashes are rare (and I have to admit that with
my experience with CVSNT, your probably right ;-).  I know that while I've
only sent you one crash dump (about a year ago), I've had dozens of crashes
of CVSNT, most of those with a single version.

  If you had a simple URL that was called, you would be able to see some
real data as far as crash rates.

  I tend to read this mailing list very closely, to determine when to
upgrade to a new version.  I'm still on 41a because of the problems others
have encountered with newer versions.  I'd like to upgrade soon, because
ToroiseCVS is now using later versions, and I feel better with TortoiseCVS
and CVSNT in sync :-)

  I don't think you need to remove the crash dump dialog, because it is
rare, but it would be nice to have another notification option.


John Cole

-----Original Message-----
From: cvsnt-bounces at cvsnt.org [mailto:cvsnt-bounces at cvsnt.org]On Behalf
Of Tony Hoyle
Sent: Wednesday, October 27, 2004 12:11 PM
To: cvsnt at cvsnt.org cvsnt downloads at march-hare.com @CVSNT on Twitter CVSNT on Facebook
Subject: Re: [cvsnt] Stop cvsnt 'crash dump' dialog?

Peter Crowther wrote:
> Unfortunately, there's 'should' and there's 'does' - reality ain't
> always that clean.  I try pretty hard to ensure that the servers I write
> will continue to run in a lights-out environment - or, if they fail,
> that someone is notified and life goes on.

It'll keep runnning regardless - each client gets their own process.

> Given that more folks are running CVSNT on boxes with consoles that are
> monitored irregularly if at all, is it worth adding a couple of entries
> to the wish list?:
> - An option to cause a crash dump to be automatically generated to a
> <location> / ask / never generated (defaults to 'Ask');

The problem with that is it could rapidly fill up the disk and not be 
solved.  The 'never generate' option really isn't an option...  if it's 
crashing, It needs fixing (which is TBH rare - I maybe get about 1 a 
week, and most of the time that's for an old version with a solved 
problem (eg. I got one for 2.0.6 just the other day...)).

Sending emails has been tried - it's a lot harder than it looks, because 
corporate configurations are quite hard to deal with.  A lot of the time 
there isn't an SMTP server within reach, and the only thing you can get 
to is an Exchange MAPI connection (sometimes even then only by dropping 

Without the dialog a way of notifying the user is needed that is 
intrusive and annoying enough that they do something about it (like send 
me the crashdump, post on the mailing list or whatever).  After a crash 
you can't rely on the client/server connection.  Pretty much all you can 
rely on is the ability to write to the disk an put up a dialog on the 

> - An option that the main service looks for new crash dumps at intervals
> and, if one is found, sends the simplest possible message from <address>
> to <address> via <smtp server> - this code should port to Win32 and *NIX
> relatively well, and I've not come across a production environment
> recently that doesn't have an available SMTP server *somewhere*.

You never get core dumps from the Unix boxes, because something in inetd 
(at least on linux) disables them...  makes it a pain to debug but it's 
probably for a good reason.  Since >95% of CVSNT Users are Windows there 
is enough to catch any problems without the Unix side I expect.

> This would mean you'd be more likely to see the crash dumps - if you
> included instructions in the email, people would be more likely to send
> them to you, rather than not knowing what to do to them.
There are instructions in the dialog...  it seems to work well enough.


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