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Re: [PATCH v7 08/10] tools/misc: Add xen-vmtrace tool

Andrew Cooper writes ("Re: [PATCH v7 08/10] tools/misc: Add xen-vmtrace tool"):
> On 26/01/2021 11:59, Ian Jackson wrote:
> >[Andrew:]
> >> This is example code, not a production utility.
> > Perhaps the utility could print some kind of health warning about it
> > possibly leaving this perf-impacting feature enabled, and how to clean
> > up ?
> Why?  The theoretical fallout here is not conceptually different to
> libxl or qemu segfaulting, or any of the myriad other random utilities
> we have.
> Printing "Warning - this program, just like everything else in the Xen
> tree, might in exceptional circumstances segfault and leave the domain
> in a weird state" is obvious, and doesn't need stating.
> The domain is stuffed. `xl destroy` may or may not make the problem go away.

Firstly, I don't agree with this pessimistic analysis of our current
tooling.  Secondly, I would consider many such behaviours bugs;
certainly we have bugs but we shouldn't introduce more of them.

You are justifying the poor robustness of this tool on the grounds
that it's "example code, not a production utility".

But we are shipping it to bin/ and there is nothing telling anyone
that trying to use it (perhaps wrapped in something of their own
devising) is a bad idea.

Either this is code users might be expected to run in production in
which we need to make it at least have a minimal level of engineering
robustness (which is perhaps too difficult at this stage), or we need
to communicate to our users that it's a programming example, not a
useful utility.

Note that *even if it is a programming example*, we should highlight
its most important deficiencies.  Otherwise it is a hazardously
misleading example.

I hope that makes sense.




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