Stupid code – aka gnome-session phantoms

This could be some of the worse code I’ve ever seen:

snipit from
the cvs

static char* address = NULL;

if (! address)
g_warning ("Host name lookup failure on localhost.");

address = g_new (char, 10);
srand (time (NULL) + (getpid () < <16)); g_snprintf (address, 10, "0%.8x", rand()); };

I discovered it because my gnome login takes about 5 minutes and the message:

(gnome-session:15027): WARNING **: Host name lookup failure on localhost

is the last thing in my .xsession-errors file.

Well, if you know almost any programming language you can read the above C and understand that this error message will always be displayed.

It is not a big deal, now I have to go down another path to solve my problem, but my point is that I shouldn’t have to. It is discouraging. It is what drives people to the “format and reinstall” mentality of Windows users of the past. I moved to Linux because I did not like the “format and reinstall” menatlity. Now, it seems like the tinkerers in Linux land format and reinstall more often than the workers of Windows. Windows 2000 was good, and Windows XP is excellent(except for the horrible fragmentation habits of NTFS). I’m glad that Linux sparked the competition needed to get Windows more stable and usable, but now lets do it again with Linux. Lets clean up these crazy bugs, incorrect and unhelpful log messages, and make Linux just a little better.

I hope the above is not counter productive. I still find the $199 and $299 Full version prices of XP Home and XP Pro completely unacceptable. I will not steal software. Linux is the best alternative. Ubuntu is doing an excellent job. I’m sure much of my problem stems from my installation being a 4.10->5.04->dev branch installation. The reason I run the dev branch is to come across these types of issues and try to help solve the problem. I’m just trying to do my small, tiny, miniscule part.

4 thoughts on “Stupid code – aka gnome-session phantoms”

  1. well… not that i’m a l33t C haxx0r or anything, but when i am doing something for a proof of concept in java, i do it to make sure i can. then i clean it up. maybe the coder just forgot to clean it up?

    i think you bring up a good point about usability and error messages, though. error messages can be an extraordinarily helpful tool in getting the necessary information to fix a problem. it can also be a completely useless message that ads to the “format and reinstall” mentality. when someone wants something to work, they want it to work. they don’t want “error with PCLoadLetter”. Coming up with helpful error messages (whether in a desktop app or a web app) is vital to usability. just my $.02…

Comments are closed.