[Dirvish] Steve's woes

Keith Lofstrom keithl at kl-ic.com
Mon Feb 13 18:22:51 UTC 2006

Steve lost a disk, and his dirvish backups were not properly set up.
I want to emphasize that *** Steve Is NOT Stupid ***, though he did
make a mistake.  We have backup software precisely BECAUSE people, even
smart people, make mistakes.  We want to be able to recover from them.

Steve's backups were not properly setup because he was experimenting
with dirvish (Yay!) so that he could produce a writeup (double-Yay!).
We can blame the problem on his inattention, but perhaps he, like all
of us, has a limited amount of attention.   He certainly focused a lot
of that attention on producing a good dirvish guide (thanks, Steve!).

A more advanced version of dirvish should have *testing* and *better
logging* and *easier configuration* and many other features so that
it can be successfully operated with less attention paid to it.  In
the long run, a really great program can be successfully used with
almost zero attention.  This means that more busy people can use it.
That is a design and coding problem that we can solve.

One problem Steve has lived with is that rsync doesn't behave very
well on Windows systems.  He spent a goodly amount of time finding
the best available workarounds.  It would be a lot better for dirvish
if rsync for Windows was improved, too, though that is beyond what
most of us can accomplish.

Steve being a smart guy, I hope this *major* irritation gives him a
new itch to scratch, perhaps in the documentation area, and perhaps
as a perl coder.  I have been lax in making a good environment for 
people to produce improvements for dirvish, but perhaps working 
together we can bring that about. 

Perl can be a difficult language to write and maintain, but there
are a lot of simple incremental things we can do for dirvish that
don't require a wizard.  Grab a copy of "Learning Perl" by Randal
Schwartz and spend a few tens of hours on it.  Then write something
simple and useful, test the hell out of it, and put it on the wiki.
Or, take one of the shell scripts that others have contributed and
turn them into Perl, so we can incorporate them properly into a
module-build release. 

If we put our minds to it, we can make problems like the one Steve
had a lot more rare.


Keith Lofstrom          keithl at keithl.com         Voice (503)-520-1993
KLIC --- Keith Lofstrom Integrated Circuits --- "Your Ideas in Silicon"
Design Contracting in Bipolar and CMOS - Analog, Digital, and Scan ICs

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