Diagnosing a crasher (was Re: Quality, reputation, and improving both)

Richard Gaskin ambassador at fourthworld.com
Thu Feb 20 21:06:54 EST 2020

dunbarx wrote:

 > Richard wrote:
 >> Crashers are of course serious, but the good news is that you're only
 >> seeing it in one project.  Feel free to email me directly if you're
 >> in a position to allow me to review the errant code, and I'll see
 >> what we can do to both find a workaround to keep your progress moving
 >> along well, and submit a report for the underlying cause once we find
 >> it. This happens all over the place, and seems to occur only after
 >> the stack has been fiddled with for a while.
 > This happens all over the place, and seems to occur only after the
 > stack has been fiddled with for a while.

Apparently I was mistaken.  When I read:

   "I must add that I am working mainly on a single project when this
    happens, and am conditioned to save often. The other projects I
    have currently do not exhibit this at all, though that may be
    simply due to the fact that I am involved in them much less
    I suppose it is less worrisome that this is a problem in only a
    single project, than if it happened here and there, everywhere.

...I got the impression that it was a problem in only one single 
project, less worrisome than if it happened in others.

Do you see a pattern to the crashes that might lead to a recipe?

 > I cannot imagine that anything can be gleaned from the code base,
 > which is 9000 lines of straight LC, with only a smattering of
 > printing, printing to PDF, creating text files and reading and writing
 > to them.

Software is code. I already have the engine code.

I'm of the opinion that crashers are something that ideally should never 
happen in any scripting language.  So even if there's something we can 
change in your code to eliminate the crash, I'd still submit a bug 
report to see if a more graceful degradation is possible.

You're not obliged to accept the help.

 > In fact, none of those "outside LC" gadgets have ever caused a crash.

That may be useful diagnostic info.  What is an "'outside LC' gadget"?

 > The bugaboo is inside somewhere; I do not believe it is something I
 > wrote.

If you wrote nothing no crash would occur. :)

I'm not interested in seeking blame, only in seeking solutions.  And as 
I've said above, if there needs to a be any sort blaming we can always 
blame crashes on the engine.  So even if we find a workaround in which 
we change your script to stop the crash, that it resulted in a crash and 
not an error dialog implies an opportunity to further refine LC's 
exception handling.  And along the way you'd see the end to a 
long-standing crasher that's been interrupting your workflow.

 > Can I say "bugaboo" which is not a bug, but rather something that just
 > bugs me?

Sure, feel free to say anything you like.  But to me, any crash in any 
scripting language is a serious issue that merits further diagnosis.

If I can help diagnose this one I'd be happy to lend a hand.

  Richard Gaskin
  Fourth World Systems
  Software Design and Development for the Desktop, Mobile, and the Web
  Ambassador at FourthWorld.com                http://www.FourthWorld.com

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